The ocean plastic crisis may seem like a relatively recent phenomenon with how much attention it's received over the last decade. However, this situation extends decades beyond modern-day — and the inception of plastic itself stretches even further. Understanding the history of ocean plastic pollution gives us a glimpse into how this material became so pervasive and how we might learn from past behaviors.
Founded in 1996 by Dr. Amanda Vincent and Dr. Heather Koldewey, Project Seahorse aims to secure a world where marine ecosystems are healthy and well-managed. Their focus on saving seahorses, securing the world's shallow seas, and training conservationists to continue this important work is what they're all about. Check out some more of the great work they are doing inside.
From plastic rain to the world's largest beach cleanup to an ambitious plan to phase out single-use plastics, we've scoured the headlines for the newest and most noteworthy stories related to the ocean plastic crisis. Let's take a look inside.
Seahorses are one of the most endearing, mystical, and beloved of all marine animals. Their strange shapes, vastly different appearances, and unique locomotion have mystified humans for centuries. To this day, however, our base of knowledge surrounding these amazing creatures is still relatively limited and we are just now really beginning to understand the depths of their existence. Read on to learn more about seahorses and the many threats they face.
Located about 40 miles south of San Franciso on California's central coast, Monterey Bay is home to one of the cutest and most iconic marine mammal species in the Pacific Ocean: the southern sea otter. Although this species is listed as "threatened," Monterey Bay continues to be one of their strongholds and much of the sea otters' success there can be attributed to the diligent work of our partner, the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Read on to learn more about their important work and to see more of these adorable creatures.
Part of the 4ocean DNA has always been about giving back to organizations that share our vision of a clean ocean –– those organizations that are working in their own way to protect and preserve the great deep blue and all the creatures that live within it. We believe that giving back is not about what we do individually as a company but is about the end result of a collective set of ideas and actions working in conjunction for the desired outcome. That is why we have partnered with 1% for the Planet. Check out the story inside.
Cleaning the ocean is hard work for our captains and crews. Over the last couple of years, as we've continued to scale up our cleanup operations in high impact areas, it became clear that we needed to up our technology game. So we got to work building the new custom 4ocean Mobile Skimmer, which will be a powerful new tool in the fight against ocean plastic.
When it comes to marine mammals and the cuteness factor, the beloved sea otter is definitely up there at the top of the list. However, don't let their adorable faces distract you from the fact that sea otters also play a very important role in the health of their local ecosystems. For the remaining populations around the world, the conservation of this keystone species is critical and must remain a high priority if sea otters are to survive the many challenges facing them today. Warning: Adorable Photos Inside.
Ever wonder what it's like to be part of a 4ocean Cleanup Crew? Well, here's your chance to spend a day in the life! Follow the 4ocean Haiti team as they prepare for the day, clean up the ocean and coastlines, and sort all the plastic and trash they find during their cleanup. It is a lot of work and we do it 7 days a week!
Back in November of 2018, we were so excited about the launch of the 4ocean Ocean Plastic Recovery Vessel and totally fired up to start cleaning up massive amounts of plastic pollution from river mouths and the ocean. But, we quickly learned that she just wasn't quite ready to start her mission. So, it was back to the shipyard for some modifications. Check out all the new things we needed to get her back underway.
When 4ocean began in January 2017, we had no idea that within a couple of years there would be 4ocean Cleanup Operations on two continents and the Caribbean. The 1-Year Anniversary of the 4ocean Haiti location passed just a short time ago so we sent our video and photography team south to capture the milestone and the ensuing celebration –– boy what a party it turned out to be!
Florida is known as the "Fishing Capital of the World," but in recent years, the world-renowned fisheries of the coastal estuaries and Everglades have been in decline as a direct result of decades of water mismanagement. To raise awareness about a unique ecosystem on the verge of collapse, we released the Everglades Bracelet in partnership with Captains For Clean Water, a nonprofit organization who's been on the front lines of the fight for the restoration of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We teamed up with the Miami Police Department Marine Division and their Youth Police Explorers to clean up Pace Picnic Island in Miami's famous Biscayne Bay, which is home to many endangered species and other fish and animals that need protection from ocean plastic pollution. And, wow, wait until you see some of the things that we found during the cleanup.
When most people think about the Florida Everglades, the last thing they probably think about is Disney World, EPCOT, and Universal Studios. But the reality is, just south and east of these world-famous Orlando theme parks, there is a little-known waterway called Shingle Creek winding its way behind such luxurious resorts as the Ritz Carlton, the Rosen, and JW Marriott. Surprisingly enough, this is where the water story begins –– this is where Everglades begins. And unfortunately, where the problems begin, too.
4ocean and Project AWARE recently reunited to #DiveAgainstDebris. With more than 54,000 participants worldwide, each and every dive brings new things to the surface that don't belong in the ocean environment. The data these divers collect is placed in a database that allows scientists to study what many refer to as "Garbology." Check out the video update to see us in action!
4ocean, in partnership with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, is part of a very unique expedition to attach satellite tags to whale sharks so that their movements and behaviors can be analyzed, which will hopefully give us a better understanding of their migratory patterns and way of life.
There is a man, an adventurer, an incredible athlete that is out in the middle of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch today free swimming in the vast blue expanse of the now infamous trash gyre to raise awareness about and help advance the science of plastic pollution in the ocean. This expedition is called The Vortex Swim and it is helping move the needle on the science of ocean plastic pollution.
Whale sharks' enormous size may deter most predators, but it doesn't protect them from ocean plastic pollution. While they're the biggest fish in the sea, whale sharks are most threatened by the tiniest plastic particles polluting the ocean: microplastic.
What happens from the time leatherbacks are hatchlings to the time they're adults? That's exactly what our partner, Florida Atlantic University® Marine Research Lab, is trying to find out. They're one of the only institutions in the world to successfully raise leatherback hatchlings in the lab. Here's why that matters.
SeaTrees are a new concept in ocean conservation from SustainableSurf.org. These "regenerative" projects create an #OceanPositive effect because they protect and restore critical habits that sequester carbon at up to 5x's the rate of terrestrial forests. Learn more about SustainableSurf.org and what you can do to plant your first SeaTree.
The 4ocean team hit the water in an attempt to help break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Underwater Cleanup. It was a group effort that included people from all over the world coming together for one purpose –– to clean the ocean. Having pulled thousands of pounds of trash and debris from the ocean, check inside to see just how many people it took to set the new mark.