Involving Women in Studying Ocean Pollution
More than 380 million tons of plastic are produced each year and most of it isn’t disposed of properly. As much as 13 million tons of such waste ends up in the world’s ocean, where it poses a serious threat to marine life. Humans also end up eating around 70,000 microplastic fibers every year. Studying how these plastics effect women's health could save lives, and broadening the study to include women scientists could help establish never before seen equality in the field.
Women only occupy 13% of the STEM workforce and are also underrepresented in the sailing community.
An all-women crew is getting to the bottom of ocean plastic pollution and its impact on human health.
More than 300 women from 30 countries embarked on the multi-year eXXpedition Round the World voyage in October to explore Earth’s five ocean gyres, examine the causes of plastic toxins in the ocean, and propose solutions.
The 38,000-nautical-mile expedition starting and ending in the United Kingdom will explore the North and South Atlantic, the South Pacific, and the Indian Ocean in groups of 10 across 31 legs. The voyage was forced to hit pause on its eighth leg in the South Pacific in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but will continue in a year, according to CNN.