Thursday, May 24 , 2018, 7:05 am | Overcast 58º


Free Forum Highlights Effects of Plastic Debris On World’s Oceans

Remote waters are congested with land-based litter

A free community forum titled “Synthetic Sea” will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the Cabrillo Pavillion Arts Center, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd.

Guest speakers Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation will share firsthand experiences with plastic marine debris in remote areas of the world, including the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Eriksen, well-known for sailing a JUNKraft made of 15,000 plastic bottles to Hawaii from Long Beach last summer, and Cummins are stopping in Santa Barbara on their 2,000 mile bicycle JUNKride to Tijuana from Vancouver.

On a quest to end the age of disposable plastics, Eriksen and Cummins will present photographs from a decade of research at sea, and share their observations of the North Pacific Gyre, a swirling vortex of ocean currents twice the size of the United States, in which vast quantities of plastic are rapidly accumulating.

The forum is sponsored by the city of Santa Barbara Creeks Division and Santa Barbara County’s Project Clean Water. Local organizations — including Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, Surfrider Foundation and Art From Scrap — will be present to provide information to community members on how to get involved locally and keep disposable plastics out of the ocean.

Call 805.897.2658 for more information.

— Cameron Benson is the city of Santa Barbara Creeks Division manager.

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