The OVI used a 130-foot sailing cargo ship, the KWAI, to collect trash in the North Pacific Gyre (NPG), also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The NPG debris patch stretches for over 500,000 square miles, according to OVI. OVI traveled along the NPG from Honolulu to San Francisco covering over 4,600 nautical miles.
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The KWAI is owned by the Government of the Marshall Islands, and was purchased under an initiative that formed at the Paris Climate Accords. The goal for Marshall Islands was to reduce its carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2025.
The KWAI collected a total of 211,644 pounds of trash in this year’s cleanup. Mary T. Crowley, the founder and President of OVI, is happy with the accomplishment, “Our Captain and crew are outstanding…I am proud of their hard work and grateful for their passion to help our ocean,” she said in a statement.
Back in 2020 OVI initiated the largest ocean clean up in history, removing 340,000 pounds of plastic waste from the Pacific Ocean. The group had recovered more than 500,000 pounds of waste before this year’s outing. After this cleanup the group has removed a total of 692,000 pounds of plastic from the ocean.
Captain Locky MacLean lead the excursion on the KWAI, and he says this work is meaningful to him because he hopes children will benefit from healthy oceans.
Marine areas cover more than two thirds of our planet and are the main component of our life support system here on Earth, absorbing carbon and generating the very air we breathe, they cannot continue to be taken for granted.
Captain Locky MacLean