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Race for Water Odyssey : Back in Bordeaux after 9 months of human and scientific adventure

"Plastic is everywhere. And it is present in such large quantities that an effective ocean clean-up is unrealistic"

mercredi 18 novembre 2015Redaction SSS [Source RP]

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After more than 32,000 nautical miles across three oceans and a painful ordeal when the project’s flagship trimaran capsized, the environmental expedition concluded its journey today with its return to its home port. On arrival in Bordeaux, the team will assess nine-month worth of data collected and the personalities and general public that the project reached with its awareness raising programme and its call to action. Race for Water Odyssey used a standard protocol based on that of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to sample the plastic pollution on 30 beaches located in five major waste accumulation zones. The project’s various partner institutions, including the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland), the University of Bordeaux (France) and the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) are currently analysing the collected samples. Duke University and Oregon State in the USA are studying images taken by the senseFly drone, eBee. Results are expected in 2016.

The first findings, reported in September, are clear and alarming. Plastic is everywhere. And it is present in such large quantities that an effective ocean clean-up is unrealistic.

“This expedition has been a great human, social and scientific adventure (notably with the University of Bordeaux) and our arrival back in Bordeaux is an emotional experience. The last nine months have been challenging at times, but all the data and knowledge acquired and the enriching encounters that we have experienced are essential to continue the fight against plastic pollution in the oceans,” said Marco Simeoni, expedition leader and president of the Race for Water Foundation.

“Race for Water Odyssey is just the beginning of a long-term project. It is a springboard that has enabled us to further define how to progress towards solutions. Following the Odyssey, our conclusions are clear : plastic pollution affects all regions of the world, it is everywhere. We must be proactive and prevent plastic from getting into our waterways by promoting solutions that give waste value. We will be launching pilot projects that transform waste into energy from 2016 on,” he added.

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