|A booby in Socorro – their numbers are reportedly falling
in Clipperton, maybe his visit wasn’t as random. March 2017
So what’s next?
Great things are unraveling! 😉 All around me are beautiful opportunities to keep me focused on plastic pollution and ways to inspire others to roll-up their sleeves.
A group of amazing researchers, marine conservationists, photographers and filmmakers are going to a remote island called Clipperton for mainly shark research and I get to be one of the luckiest girls on earth to join them! 😃
Here’s a link to their expedition last year for more information. Clipperton is off of the Baja coast of Mexico – Socorro, where I was last month, is about a third of the distance out. 900kms out. The island is under the French Government. It’s a tiny island, there is no development or habitants. The corals and ecology surrounding the island is known to be home to many endemic species as well as on the migratory route for other marine species – Galapagos sharks, hammerheads, manta rays, dolphins(!), whales etc.
As the team conducted their research last year they were astounded to only have found 2 adult sharks – rather than the 100s they were expecting to see. What happened to them? Was it the wrong time in the year? Did their migratory patterns change due to fluctuating sea temperatures? So many questions…
When they were ramble through waves and rocks to get on land the view was far from imagination. An incomparably reduced number of birds, crabs and other land animals than they were expecting to find. The heart-wrenching reality of birds with plastics in their beaks making their way to their nest to feed their chicks.
To summarize their mission for this amazing trip: shark research, coral ecology and a heavy focus on plastic pollution on land. That last part is what got me completely and unquestionably dedicated to the trip. There are even 2 scientists who specialize in plastic pollution from Harvard! The perfect place to be to learn more about the issue, possibilities and on-going efforts.
I add an additional goal for myself – get inspiring shots of these ocean warriors at work AND learn more about the extent of plastic pollution. What are the items that wash up there? I plan on taking a photo of every discernible brand and container to raise the awareness about the power humans have together to change the mess we created ourselves. Not sure how much connectivity I will have, but I will be writing daily.
Until then I will continue to share more facts and information that we currently know about the area and related to this amazing trip.
I am so thrilled and at the same time worried about the emotional reality I will face while on land. I expect a somber portrait of a ghost island but struggling birds will be rough. And there is absolutely no other place I’d rather be.
Thank you for reading! Please share any questions or comments!