We recently shared a story about Ocean Voyage Institute completing the largest ocean clean up to date. Now, another crew is exploring the ocean’s five garbage-collecting gyres to learn more about plastic pollution and its impact. Even more unique, the crew is made up entirely of women.
The multi-year eXXpedition Round the World voyage crew is made up of 300 women from 30 different countries. The expedition will travel 38,000-nautical-miles and cover the North and South Atlantic, the South Pacific, and the Indian Ocean in groups of 10 across 31 legs.
Emily Penn is the co-founder of eXXpedition, a series of all-women sailing voyages, and works to promote women in sailing and science. Women only occupy 13 percent of the STEM workforce and are also underrepresented in the sailing community, statistics that prompted her to begin the company in 2014.
Now, their plastic research initiative will work with experts on land and at sea to sample ocean plastics and airborne particles. Their aim is to investigate the connection of highly toxic chemicals in the ocean and health, specifically women’s health.
The eXXpedition Round the World voyage is currently paused due to COVID-19, but plans to resume their mission next year.