Project Kaisei: Capturing The Plastic Vortex

Project Kaisei is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco and Hong Kong, established to increase the understanding and the scale of marine debris, its impact on our ocean environment, and how we can introduce solutions for both prevention and clean-up.

Our main focus is on the North Pacific Gyre, which constitutes a large accumulation of debris in one of the largest and most remote ecosystems on the planet. To accomplish these objectives, Project Kaisei is serving as a catalyst to bring together public and private collaborators to design, test and implement break-throughs in science, prevention and remediation.

Kaisei means “Ocean Planet” in Japanese, and is the name of the iconic tall ship that was one of the two research vessels in the August expedition. The other was the New Horizon, a Scripps Oceanography vessel that was arranged via a new collaboration between Project Kaisei and Scripps to provide additional research on the impacts of debris in the gyre. Each vessel obtained a wide variety of samples from this part of the ocean which are now being analyzed. What was evident was the pervasiveness of small plastic debris that was found in every surface sample net that was used for regular sampling over 3,500 miles between the two vessels.

In the summer of 2010, Project Kaisei will launch its second Expedition to the North Pacific Gyre, where it will send multiple vessels to continue marine debris research, and in particular, to test an array of marine debris collection systems. Debris collected will be used to further study the feasibility of converting this to fuel or other useable material. As a collaborative action program, Project Kaisei is seeking sponsors, participants and leaders in their respective industries who can help to make a difference, on land, or at sea, in reducing marine debris.

Show your support: www.projectkaisei.org

Manuel Martinez

Project GreenBag, 2200 Market St, San Francisco, CA, 94114, United States