Feature Photo Courtesy of Stiv Wilson / Photo above: jonrawlinson
Wend magazine and Wendmag.com Editor-in-Chief Stiv Wilson is planning on going on an environmental research mission to explore plastic in the Sargasso Sea with the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, but he needs your help!

Stiv Wilson, a surfer and environmentalist from Portland, Oregon, was invited to participate in the mission by Dr. Marcus Eriksen of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation as a Surfrider Foundation Ambassador.  

Wilson is currently the chair of the Portland, Oregon Surfrider Chapter, working on plastics issues and advising Surfrider’s national Rise Above Plastics campaign.

Why does he want to go?

“I’m a surfer and an environmentalist.  I see plastic floating in the ocean every time I surf. Within the past year, media coverage of The North Pacific Gyre has become prolific, but what the greater public doesn’t know yet is that four other gyres exist in our world’s oceans.  This debris collects because of the way in which ocean currents swirl.  We need to study them all.”

What is he going to do out there?

While onboard, Wilson will be shooting a ton of video and photographs, as well as conducting interviews with researchers and scientists.

During and after the voyage, Wilson will publish articles about his findings on the Huffington Post, Wendmag.com, and on the Surfrider Blog.

Wilson will also be creating “media deliverables” for Surfrider to help spread awareness about the plastic pollution in our oceans, including a curriculum for teachers, short videos, and photos for outreach materials (in addition to the press coverage on Huffington Post and Wendmag.com.

How can you help?

Participation in the voyage will cost $5,000 plus an additional $1,000 for a plane ticket.  The fee will also help fund plastic in sediment analysis, fish tissue sampling (checking for toxins), and marine debris density testing in the Atlantic gyre.  The budget also includes carbon offsets.

Surfrider National has agreed to pay $2,500, leaving Wilson to raise the remaining $3,500.

That’s where you come in.

He has set up a website for donations on Kickstarter.com, where more information can also be found.

Community Connection:

Read more about trash, including the Great Pacific Trash Gyre, in Carlo Alcos’ article, The World’s Most Offensive Landfills.