Thursday, February 20, 2014

From Beachside Trash to Holiday Treasure

A vibrantly successful Long Island Sound shoreline cleanup takes an unconventional recycling twist through the efforts of eager Greenport School fourth graders and local artist Cindy Pease Roe 

On the morning of Tuesday, November 19th, forty fourth graders and a handful of brave chaperones leapt off of a Greenport School bus and onto a gusty seashore at Truman’s Beach in Orient, NY. Using Rozalia Project’s marine debris record sheets, the students happily battled the beachside winds as they removed over 600 pieces of unnatural materials from one of their favorite summer spots. A sopping wet pillow and three dead rats in a plastic gallon jug later, the job was far from done. 

This second annual Greenport School beach cleanup was developed by local artist Cindy Pease Roe who has made her mark on the north fork of Long Island through all mediums of her creative genius within her studio that is tucked inside historic Hanff’s Boatyard in Greenport. Most recently, though, Roe has expanded her talent by transforming her personal collection of shoreline plastics into unique art forms. That is where the kids come in. 

When the data-filled clipboards were collected, and the heaping bags of marine debris gathered, the rubbish party reconfigured at Floyd Memorial Library for color sorting. As tables erupted with blue bottle caps, a yellow yo-yo, tarnished green rope and the like, the room buzzed with imaginative angst for what was to come. The students’ field trip continued the next morning when they joined Roe once again to craft holiday wreaths with their discovered, sorted and recorded materials. Afterward, these animated decorations were on display throughout Greenport School, decking the halls but also bringing awareness to a deeper truth. 

Of the nearly 650 pieces of recorded marine debris found, the most frequently occurring material was caps, lids and bottle tops, with 119 pieces recovered. In second was rope, coming in at 77 pieces, and third was plastic bottles, totaling 45. As most of Rozalia Project’s collected data has shown, our shores and waters are battling preventable pollutants. 40 fourth graders on Long Island shared these facts with their schoolmates and community through marine trash art; how will you encourage preventative action? 

This blog post is from 2013 intern, Kaleigh Wilson, a graduate of Roger Williams University. We asked Kaleigh to join Cindy and the Greenport students last fall to represent Rozalia Project and add an element of science and data collection to the excellent pickup and artwork that was already being done. We are grateful to Kaleigh for stepping up to participate and write this great report. In addition, Newsday Magazine published some articles about this event:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Attention ocean scientists: Rozalia Project Fellowships onboard American Promise!

 Rozalia Project Fellowships onboard American Promise operating from Downeast Maine to the Chesapeake Bay

Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean invites scientists, researchers and ocean advocates on the subjects of marine debris, ocean pollution, climate change and more to join us for expeditions in the North Atlantic May-August, 2014.

Rozalia Project conducts its science expeditions from the 60' sailing research vessel American Promise, crewed by licensed mariners, Rozalia Project staff and interns. She is capable of crossing oceans, with a maximum crew of 9 people.

This Fellowship/guest scientist program is designed to share resources, give scientists extremely low cost opportunities to conduct research, access to underwater technology and expertise, and give Rozalia Project interns exposure to high level research scientists and their methods while we all work toward a clean and healthy ocean.

Rozalia Project is making 1-3 spaces available on each of three expeditions (below) for guest scientists through this fellowship program. Guest scientists will complete their own research alongside Rozalia Project's ongoing research and be a part of the daily interaction with our web based followers. American Promise is equipped with 2 ROV's capable down to 1000ft, side scan sonar, imaging sonar, 2 neuston nets, digital microscope, and ponar sediment grab.

The expeditions are followed by over 25,000 children across North America and beyond who will interact with the expedition and its work on a daily basis through web-based and satellite communication. We ask for $150/week food/supplies stipend, otherwise the spot is without charge.

May 19 - June 14
Rozalia Project’s primary objective: Direct action campaign - saving a species critical to our north Atlantic ecosystem, coastal marine debris work
Geographic location: US Atlantic seaboard (Maine - Chesapeake Bay)

2. July 6 - July 20
Rozalia Project’s primary objective: Ocean cleanup and testing Rozalia Project’s solutions to the problem of floating and shoreline trash: low by-catch net and using unmanned aerial vehicles for documentation of shoreline and surface trash
Geographic location: Gulf of Maine

3. July 27 - August 10 
Rozalia Project’s primary objective: Marine debris cleanup on the shoreline, surface and seafloor with a focus on outlying islands off the coast of Maine
Geographic location: Gulf of Maine, Downeast Maine

For more information or to apply: Call Rachael Miller at 802-578-6120 to discuss your research or send the following as soon as possible to
  • A brief overview of your department/organization
  • Details about the work you would complete while aboard American Promise
  • The CV, name and contact information of the person (or people) who would join us

We have had successful partnerships with scientists from the University of Exeter and the Ocean Conservancy and look forward to using American Promise to continue to further our understanding of the problems (and solutions) facing our marine environment.