I recently read about banking heir, David de Rothschild, sailing across the Pacific Ocean on a catamaran made from 12,000 discarded plastic bottles! His boat is rather appropriately named Plastiki, and Mr. de Rothschild is on a mission to showcase the need to recycle.
He hopes to make people aware that trash, carelessly and thoughtlessly tossed into the ocean, can often end up as lethal litter to sea animals and sea birds. In 1999, an oceanographer identified a mass of plastic at least 1,000 miles across swirling about in the Pacific Ocean. Yuck! Unfortunately, on a smaller scale, lakes and rivers probably suffer the same man-made abuses.
Of course, wooden boats take center stage at Mystic Seaport, but as the Museum of America and the Sea, our mission really isn’t so different from Mr. de Rothschild’s. It all boils down to respect for the sea and being good custodians of it. To know it is to love it, is a familiar phrase, and one usually takes care of something one loves, right?
Through classes, lectures, exhibits and hands-on activities, the Museum’s goal is to educate visitors about our nation’s nautical history and heritage. Once that personal connection to the sea takes hold, Mr. de Rothschild’s sailboat, Plastica, doesn’t seem so far out after all. We all need to do our part in taking better care of our oceans, lakes and rivers. Consider this; next time you think you’ve seen a jellyfish floating by, according to de Rothschild, it could just be a plastic bag. That grosses me out more than a jellyfish!
Blog written by Trudi Busey