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Race for Water Odyssey 2015

A Race Against Time to Save the Oceans

Race for Water Odyssey (R4WO) set off from Bordeaux, France on March 15, 2015. This expedition aimed to reach the beaches of islands located in the ocean's 5 vortexes of trash, in order to conduct the first global assessment of plastic pollution in oceans, and highlight its consequences on the populations. All this, in a record time of under 300 days, thanks to a racing trimaran, the "MOD70 Race for Water". R4WO hopes to find answers to this question, which represents the worst ecological disaster of history.

An Odyssey for EXPLORING

The aim of this first Odyssey is to create the first global assessment of plastic pollution in oceans, by visiting islands located in the heart of trash vortexes. These islands, which lie at the center of the gyres, serve as a sort of natural barrier against the movement of this waste, catching the debris and making it accumulate on their coasts. Their beaches are therefore a representative sample of the kinds and quantities of debris found in the surrounding waters. 






The main goal of this expedition is to assess the human and environmental consequences of this plastic pollution.  The beaches of the selected islands are studied using a systematic and standardized scientific approach based on the methods of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  For the first time, a drone is used to map the trash that piles up on the beaches. Furthermore, the crew meets with different local figures (local populations, authorities, NGOs, etc) to understand how they currently deal with this plastic pollution.




An Odyssey for IDENTIFYING

Working together with a number of technological and commercial partners, as well as institutions, the foundation aims to use the results of this initial expedition to identify the requirements and solutions for the collection and recycling of plastic waste. This consists on one hand of developing concrete solutions for collecting and evaluating waste, and on the other hand, of implementing international regulations to fight against marine pollution. 




Bringing plastic pollution to the attention of the general public, industries, and legislators is also of one the desired outcome. At each stop, the general public, media, local authorities, and politicians is educated through a number of activities and events. The team works to raise awareness about the stakes at hand and the need to fight against plastic pollution among the largest possible number of people. Furthermore, we have special interest in younger ones, and developed a program of fun and educational activities and pedagogical tools for schools.