Supping for Clean water: Plastic Tides Expedition Making Waves

-

- Advertisment -

It began in 2012 with a chance meeting at a National Geographic Young Explorer Grant workshop at Cornell University. Gordon Middleton, Christian Shaw and Celine Jennison sat at a table together and brainstormed using sups to raise awareness about plastic pollution. Barely a year later, with their pre-application for the grant accepted, their project came to life.

“What began as a desire to combine a passion for watersports and adventure with research and conservation became Plastic Tides,” says Shaw, who helped form the non-profit Plastic Tides to raise awareness about plastic in the ocean. “We’re combining adventure along with science to address the serious problem of single-use plastics.”

Last spring, despite not ultimately winning the Young Explorer grant, they spent 10 days on sups anyway circumnavigating Bermuda. En route they filmed, blogged and collected water samples, all to help rid oceans of plastic. Riding that momentum, they formed Plastic Tides to continue the cause.

“The problem is that plastic is everywhere and is used everyday,” he says. “We’re trying to promote awareness to lessen its use because most of the time it ends up in the sea. We’re using paddleboards to make a valuable contribution to the growing body of research surrounding marine debris.”

Most recently, they’ve set their sights on the cosmetic industry’s use of plastic micro-beads in their home state of New York, where a bill banning them has been stalled by the State Senate. To raise awareness about these pollutants, this time they paddleboarded the Erie Canal. While the original plan called for paddling 240 miles from Ithaca to Albany, collecting samples to be analyzed by Dr. Sam Mason at Fredonia’s State University of New York (SUNY), inclement weather and impassable ice cut their trip short by 60 miles, just east of Little Falls, N.Y. But not before word spread about their trip and not before they collected the necessary water samples by towing trawls behind their boards.

In December, they visited SUNY’s Great Lakes Plastic Pollution Lab to analyze their samples from the first-ever micro-bead survey conducted of the Finger Lakes region. The results were sobering, with micro-beads found in Cayuga Lake, Oneida Lake, the Erie Canal and the Mohawk River. “All this indigestible plastic waste works it way up the food chain and washes ashore on beaches around the world, resembles dinner for many organisms,” says Shaw. “We’re using stand-up paddleboards to help expose the problem.”

Info: www.plastictides.org

Video of Erie Canal Expedition documentary: CLICK HERE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest news

New Guidebook Release: Paddling the Salish Sea

In Paddling the Salish Sea, professional kayaker and SUP instructor Rob Casey guides paddlers to the quiet inlets of...

River Management Society Announces 2024 River Studies and Leadership Certificate Recipients

The River Management Society (RMS) has announced 2024 recipients of the River Studies and Leadership Certificate, a program offered...

Paddle the Nation’s Driest State with New National Rivers Project Resources

Planning a river trip to America’s driest state has never been easier. The National Rivers Project (NRP) website, a...

2024 Yukon River Quest Begins June 26 with 76 Teams

The 24th annual Yukon River Quest is set to start at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, at...
- Advertisement -

Paddle Sports Show Hits France Sept. 24-26 (with New Film Fest—Enter to Win!)

  Mark your calendars! The 2024 edition of the Paddle Sports Show will take place this year again Sept. 24-26...

TALES FROM THE CRIPPS: Episode 23 – Paying It Forward with Andrey Coto Robles

Coto is back! It's been almost a year and a half since doing one of my favorite interviews with...

Must read

Bren Orton Update: Body of Pro Kayaker Found in Switzerland’s Lake Maggiore

The body of British extreme kayaker Bren Orton, 29,...

Paddlesports Trade Coalition Announces Colab Event in Okla. City Sept. 3-6

PTC Colab at Riversport OKC September 3-6, 2024. The new Paddlesports...
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you