Algalita Marine Research Foundation Issues Global Invitation To Teens To Attend Spring 2011 International Youth Summit

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International youth challenged to develop solutions to reduce plastic waste in their communities and provide a positive impact on global problem of plastics in the ocean. Algalita is recognized leader in researching plastic pollution in oceans.

Algalita Marine Research Foundation (AMRF) today issued a worldwide invitation to conservation-minded high school students for their participation in the “2011 Plastics Are Forever International Youth Summit and Training Program.”

The Summit, to be held March 11-13, 2011 in Long Beach, California, is sponsored in part by grants from Disney Friends for Change Project Green and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust. The Summit is a comprehensive educational project designed to engage, mentor, and activate youth leaders across the United States and abroad in developing and launching action-oriented solutions to reduce plastic waste in their home communities.

Plastic pollution endangers countless species of marine wildlife. Birds, mammals, sea turtles, and fish become entangled in or ingest our plastic trash and new research suggests that human health may also be impacted. Plastic particles absorb toxic pollutants such as PCBs and DDT at high concentrations. These chemically-laden plastics are ingested by fish, potentially becoming more concentrated as they work up the food chain, and into the tissues of fish that we eat.

At the Summit, students will participate in an intensive program to learn more about plastic marine pollution and develop their leadership, public speaking, and communications skills, which will result in a global network of environmental youth leaders. Due to limited space, 100 students (a total of 20 to 30 student teams) and their academic advisors will be selected to attend the Summit based upon submission of project proposals outlining how they would reduce plastic pollution in their home communities. To secure participation at the Summit, students must form 2- to 4-member teams and submit their project proposals for review no later than November 30, 2010. The online training program and entry submission information is accessible at http://www.plasticsareforever.org.

“All of us on this planet are responsible, to one extent or another, for the present state of our watersheds, rivers, and oceans,” said Marieta Francis, Algalita’s Executive Director. “This Summit provides an opportunity for young people from around the globe to learn how to initiate a healing process for the waters of the world.”

Keynote Speakers for the Summit include Wallace “J.” Nichols, PhD. and Captain Charles Moore.
Dr. Nichols is a scientist, activist, community organizer, author and dad. He is a Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences and founder/co-director of Ocean Revolution, an international network of young ocean advocates, as well as co-founder of SEE Turtles, a sea turtle conservation tourism project. Nichols earned his MEM in Environmental Policy and Economics from Duke University's Nicholas School and his PhD in Wildlife Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from University of Arizona. He advises a motivated group of international graduate students and serves as an advisor to numerous non-profit boards and committees as part of his commitment to building a stronger, more progressive and connected environmental community. He is author of more than 50 scientific papers, reports and book chapters as well as the forthcoming book OCEANOPHILIA, together with Andy Myers.

Captain Moore is Founder and Research Coordinator of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. Since establishing AMRF in 1994, Captain Moore has dedicated his time and resources to understanding and remediating the ocean’s plastic load. Along with collaborators from the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, he developed protocols for monitoring marine and beach micro-plastics, which are now used worldwide. To date, Captain Moore has conducted ocean and coastal sampling for plastic fragments through more than 40,000 miles of the North Pacific Ocean, across 22 degrees of latitude and 70 degrees of longitude. His latest 10,000 mile voyage took him and his crew two-thirds of the way to Japan across the International Dateline. Captain Moore’s work has been highlighted in numerous major media outlets, including ABC’s Nightline, Good Morning America, National Public Radio, Rolling Stone, and The Wall Street Journal.

READ MORE - The gyre is a 10-million-square-mile patch of circulating current – an area of little precipitation combined with variable winds and intermittent calm. Currents flow into the area from all directions, carrying with them great quantities of trash - 85% of it plastic - which makes its way into the oceans via the world’s watersheds. Most of what goes into the gyre stays there, with only the tiniest plastic particulate matter ending up on far-flung beaches. Although most trash biodegrades in seawater over time, plastic does not. Instead, it continues to break down into smaller and smaller pieces, forever circulating in the sea.

For additional information about Algalita Marine Research Foundation, Captain Charles Moore, and to learn more about our mission, outreach programs, and research projects, please visit http://www.algalita.org or call 562.598.4889.

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