At UNCW Plastic Ocean Project (POP), protecting and preserving our oceans is the mission and the dedication shows not only in the message, but in the everyday decisions and how these students live their daily lives. These students strongly believe in education through field research, implementation of progressive outreach initiatives (like outreach through art), and creating solutions through innovation to address the global plastic pollution problem that our oceans are facing and work towards a more sustainable future. In other words, they practice what they teach and are in the midst of taking their passion and turning into a future career that not only benefits the ocean, but benefits us all.
The passionate crew at UNCW POP recently started the Hope Spot: Hatteras project after watching Sylvia Earle’s Netflix documentary, Mission Blue, an extremely inspiring story about her fight to preserve our oceans. Through intense research and momentum from community support, they proposed that a Hope Spot be established off the coast of Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, NC.
Hope Spots are areas in the ocean that are important for life in the ocean. The Sylvia Earle Alliance and Mission Blue have worked to create dozen of Hope Spots all over the ocean. Through intense advocacy and awarness efforts in these unique places they fight to created formally protected marine protected areas.
“Networks of marine protected areas maintain healthy biodiversity, provide a carbon sink, generate life-giving oxygen, preserve critical habitat and allow low-impact activities like ecotourism to thrive. They are good for the ocean, which means they are good for us.” – Sam Athey, POP Director of Chapters
The hope is by establishing a Hope Spot in Cape Hatteras, awareness and advocacy will increase for this unique and critical ocean area and be an influential step in gaining formal protection.
The UNCW Plastic Ocean Project are headed back to the OBX for their second awareness expedition next week and if you are in the area, I am sure you will run into them. They will be touring the area spreading awareness, partnering with other organizations along the way, and volunteering for area events and cleanups.
Find out more: www.hopespothatteras.org or http://www.plasticoceanproject.org
Blue Skies and Calm Seas,