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Hawaii Group Makes Record Haul After Pulling 103 Tons Of Trash From The Pacific

Caitlyn Clancey 27 Jun 2020

A group in Hawaii has set a record for trash hauled from the Pacific Ocean after pulling an incredible 103 tons worth of trash out of the depths of what's known as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch."

As KITV 4 reported, Ocean Voyages Institute returned its vessel, Kwai, to the port of Honolulu this week after finishing their 48-day mission of yanking tons of plastic, fishing nets, and debris from the water.

If you've never heard of it, the "Patch" is a dense collection of marine debris located in the North Pacific Ocean.

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According to National Geographic, this area can be found between the U.S. states of Hawaii and California.

An estimated 1.15 to 2.41 million tons of plastic enter the ocean through rivers every year. Rather than sink to the bottom, the stronger, more buoyant plastics are transported by currents and ultimately end up accumulating in the Patch.

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Ocean Voyages Institute, the group which sponsors the Patch clean-up efforts, says this trip has been their most successful so far.

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Last year, they only brought in around 40 tons of trash. This year, they more than doubled that number.

"I am so proud of our hard working crew,” Mary Crowley, the group’s founder and executive director, told the Maritime Executive.

“We exceeded our goal of capturing more than 100 tons of toxic consumer plastics and derelict ‘ghost’ nets — and in these challenging times, we are continuing to help restore the health of our ocean, which influences our own health and the health of the planet.”

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Thanks to their efforts, the group has now completed the largest single cleanup at sea.

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At the end of June, the Kwai and Ocean Voyages Institute plan to set off once again to collect even more debris, although the length of this voyage depends on how much the group secures in donations.

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Crowley said the Ocean Voyages Institute is dedicated to cleaning even more debris from the ocean next year, and adding two more vessels to aid in its efforts.

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"There is no doubt in my mind that our work is making the oceans healthier for the planet and safer for marine wildlife, as these nets will never again entangle or harm a whale, dolphin, turtle or reefs," she said.

Click here to donate to the group's second voyage, and to help them achieve their goals!

h/t: KITV 4, Maritime Executive, Photos: Facebook | Ocean Voyage Institute / Project Kaisei

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