An exciting account of an activist scientist's unorthodox fight in the growing movement against plastic marine pollution and of his expedition across the Pacific on a homemade "junk raft".
Over the past several years, the news media has brought the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - the famous swirling gyre of plastic litter in the ocean - into the public consciousness. When Marcus Eriksen cofounded the 5 Gyres Institute with his wife, Anna, and set out to study marine pollution, they found that the reality is even direr: instead of a stable mass of litter, they discovered that a "plastic smog" of microparticles permeates the world's oceans, defying simplistic clean-up efforts. What's more, these microplastics and their toxic chemistry have seeped into the food chain, threatening marine life and humans alike.
Far from being a gloomy treatise on an environmental catastrophe, though, Junk Raft tells the exciting story of Eriksen's fight to raise awareness and solve the problem of plastic pollution, contributing to a fast-growing movement to stem the tide of trash. Eriksen writes of his voyage from Los Angeles to Hawaii aboard his homemade "junk raft", and along the way he recounts the successful efforts to fight corporate influence and demand that plastics producers take responsibility for a problem they've created. Eriksen provides concrete, actionable solutions and an empowering message: It's up to bold, brash, unapologetically activist "citizen scientists" to challenge the status quo for the sake of the planet.
"Eriksen succeeds in dramatizing a significant problem and enlisting popular support, noting some immediate steps that can be taken to create recyclable products.... The thrills and chills of rafting packaged with a compelling call to action." (
"This book combines many of my favorite things - adventure far from shore, the spirit of exploration, and the fight to save our oceans - all in a gripping narrative that's also a parable for our time. In the battle for the future of our living world, Marcus Eriksen is a true warrior." (James Cameron, filmmaker and deep-ocean explorer)
" Junk Raft takes us on an exciting and quixotic voyage of exploration, adventure, and activism, and along the way, Marcus Eriksen somehow manages to turn his cutting-edge research into an engaging love story. Don't be fooled by the title - Eriksen's Junk Raft carries a treasure chest full of adventurous stories, wise insights, and valuable lessons on how to protect our oceans." (Stuart H. Coleman, author of Eddie Would Go and Hawaii manager of the Surfrider Foundation)
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