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Activist sails for Hawaii on raft floating on 15,000 plasic bottles, to raise awareness of ocean pollution.

[Editorís Note:] Dr. Marcus Erikson, formerly USMC, is a member of our IWP committee and author of a most interesting book, My River Home, an account of his journey on a homemade raft down the entire length of the Mississippi.  His project, linked in the accompanying letter, is a water related event on the largest possible scale, embracing the entire North Pacific Ocean. 

In addition, you are welcome to view this video, based on the results of his project. 

From: marcuseriksen@hotmail.com
To: marcuseriksen@hotmail.com
Subject: Marcus Eriksen set to sail JUNK raft on June 1st, 3:00pm
Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 19:34:26 -0500

Dear Friends,
Soon I will be at sea traveling to Hawaii from Los Angeles on a raft floating on 15,000 plastic bottles, 20 sailboat masts for a deck, and an aircraft fuselage as a cabin.  My partners in this project are co-navigator - Joel Paschal, and Anna Cummins - P.R. and blog writer.  The intention of this journey is to attract an audience to the issue of plastic marine debris collecting in the world's oceans and the research of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation.  During our recent expedition to the North Pacific Gyre we surveyed pelagic plastic and found an exponential increase compared to our 1999 survey.  After 4 weeks and 4000 miles at sea, we returned with a sense of urgency to address our misuse of petroleum-based plastics.  With the attention we attract, we plan to put 300 samples from our recent expedition into the hands of educators, organizations and legislators.  This will be done by Anna and I via a 2000 mile bicycle ride along the west coast of North America beginning in September 2008. 
The departure of our raft, dubbed JUNK, is set for June 1st at 3pm in Rainbow Harbor in front of the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.  Our foundation website is www.algalita.org.  We will be keeping an updated blog at www.junkraft.blogspot.com
Best regards,

Marcus Eriksen, PhD
Director of Research and Education
Algalita Marine Research Foundation