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Ocean Voyages Institute Recovers Nearly 100 tons of Plastic Waste


After 45 days at sea, the sailing cargo ship KWAI has docked in San Francisco with 96 tons of recovered plastic, including ghost nets and derelict fishing gear from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Ocean Voyages Institute, a non-profit organization based in Sausalito, CA, uses this 130ft ship to carry out oceanic cleanup missions. It has removed over 692,000 pounds of plastic from the ocean to date, setting a world record. The organization’s focus is in the North Pacific Sub-Tropical Convergence Zone.

“I am grateful to have been given the responsibility to take on this massive task on behalf of Ocean Voyages Institute,” says the KWAI’s Captain Locky MacLean.“Many of my crew are from the Pacific Islands, and we all do this good work for our children, so they will benefit from healthy oceans.”


“The ocean is the blue heart of our planet,” says Mary T. Crowley, President and Founder of Ocean Voyages Institute. “Keeping our ocean healthy is vital to ocean life and our own health. Our clean up missions give me great hope for the future of our ocean because change is possible.”

Ocean Voyages Institute is a member of a multi-disciplinary group of NASA-funded researchers called FloatEco. Data gathered by this group is used to better understand floating plastic and how it impacts open ocean marine ecosystems. Ocean Voyages Institute’s goal is to remove one million pounds of debris from the North Pacific Gyre, and the organization is in the process of designing two purpose-built sailing cargo vessels to help.

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