5 Gyres Seeks Crew Member to Help Document Plastic Pollution in the Ocean

©. 5 Gyres Institute

Have you ever wanted to see an ocean trash gyre for yourself? The non-profit 5 Gyres Institute is hosting a competition to find a crew member for their next research expedition. The contest opened yesterday, and the winner will earn a place on the final six-day stretch of a trip through the North Atlantic Ocean.

The winning trip isn’t just a vacation at sea, according to 5 Gyres:

“The expedition is a working adventure (not a pleasure cruise) aboard a 167-ft schooner, the Mystic. All crew will have the opportunity to participate in every aspect of the voyage, from ship navigation and handling to daily research efforts to document plastic pollution floating on the ocean’s surface.”

Plastic pollution is a pretty heavy topic, but the winner will get at least one fun treat: to meet singer Jack Johnson, who is also participating in the trip to raise awareness about the problem. The final leg of the journey is scheduled for June, and will begin in the Bahamas and end in New York City.

The 5 Gyres Institute is dedicated to raising awareness about the issues of plastic pollution. Last year, they published a research paper in the journal PLOS ONE estimating that there are some 5 trillion pieces of plastic adrift in the world's oceans. In addition to research, the organization also works on the policy side of the problem, such as promoting bans on pollution sources like personal care products containing microbeads.

To enter the contest, participants are asked to submit a short video about how they plan to fight plastic pollution in their own communities. The deadline for entry is May 11, 2015. For full details, visit 5gyres.org.

Plastic Pollution in the World's Oceans from Chris Jones on Vimeo.