I’m super stoked to announce Paddle Against Plastic’s next expedition! This year, a little different…
In July and August 2017, myself Cal Major, and my friend Zoe Satsias and her dog, Skye, will be circumnavigating the Isle of Skye in Scotland. I’ll be stand up paddle boarding its 400 miles of stunning, exposed and untouched coastline; Zoe and Skye will be land-based, running and hiking through varying terrain. We’ll meet up at pre-determined meeting points to camp and catch up. We’re excited, determined and having heard horror stories of the sea conditions, a little bit nervous!
Zoe and I are both vets and passionate conservation advocates, and I am a Surfers Against Sewage regional rep; our passion is driving us to reach out to people in a bid to help protect the natural environment and wildlife we love and care about so desperately. We’ll be focussing, of course, specifically on the marine litter crisis! The belief is that by reconnecting people to nature and highlighting the issues being faced, we can nurture within them a desire to make more informed choices which safeguard the planet and its wildlife from the devastating effects of plastic pollution, whether this is individuals making a difference on a small scale or business owners changing the habits of their enterprise.
80% of marine litter originates from land based sources.
By highlighting the plastic found at sea and on remote beaches, we’ll demonstrate the union between land and sea and how the products and packaging used on land affect the oceans too. Importantly, we’ll propose simple solutions that we can utilise in every day life to help protect the environment at large and also our own special places and communities. The focus is not on the negativity or doom and gloom of the marine litter crisis, but on the positive solutions that are so easy to implement! It is a call to action.
Why the Isle of Skye?
The Isle of Skye is a beautiful, wild, remote island, famous for its wildlife, mountainous interior and rugged, dramatic coastline. However, in spite of its remoteness, and as with all of the British coastline, the Isle of Skye is vulnerable to plastic pollution. The expedition will serve to highlight the stark contrast in that even the beaches, waters and wildlife of the most untouched islands in the British Isles are affected by marine litter. We also wanted to create an exciting and unusual challenge! The West coast of Scotland will be a very difficult place to paddle board: Stand up paddle boarding is a slow going method of ocean travel, vulnerable to wind, tides and ocean swell, all of which are familiar companions of the rugged coast of West Scotland. Zoe and Skye’s land expedition will also be exposed to Scotland’s famously changeable weather and hilly terrain.
We’ll be filming the expedition, and creating a daily diary of our experiences, the marine litter we’re coming across, and the wildlife that we are encountering which is vulnerable to the pollution. We hope to spread the message as far and wide as possible, and empower individuals to make positive choices that will actively protect our environment.
The expedition will start on 24th July: There’ll be lots more to come in the following weeks!
To keep up to date with our progress:
Twitter @PaddleVsPlastic @major_cal
Facebook Paddle Against Plastic UK