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Sailors for a cleaner ocean- Introducing The Trash Hunters

by Nancy Knudsen on 16 Aug 2010
American Promise underway SW
Many cruising sailors are environmentalists. Out there in secluded, uninhabited bays, we see the superficial evidence of what the modern world is doing to our oceans. But not many take it so seriously that they dedicate their life to cleaning up the ocean. Introducing 'The Rozalia Project', and the Trash Hunters

Way over the other side of the Pacific Ocean and across the American continent, in Vermont, USA, Rachael Miller and James Lyne are the husband and wife team that head up the 'Rozalia Project', a non-profit organisation named after Rachael's great grandmother, Rozalia. They are both sailors and adventurers, with a complex history involved in sailing, diving, and the operation of ROVs (remotely operated vehicles).

Moved by the necessity for action for a cleaner ocean, they have purchased American Promise, which is a Ted Hood 60ft sloop and a past sail training vessel for the US Naval Academy, to act as their trash-hunting mothership. Their mission is to find and remove marine debris, sometimes assisted by the operation of their ROV. After purchasing the yacht, they sailed it from Annapolis to Albany, New York, to get it ready for work.

Along with their trash-hunting, they want to visit as many sailing centers, yacht clubs and other waterfront organizations to clean up, educate and spread the word about the problem and how we can all be a realistic part of the solution, which is a world-wide one affecting us here in Australia in many acute ways, not the least of which is the threat to the Great Barrier Reef.

Without unlimited funds, to expand what they can achieve they are now going for a grant, and Rachael is looking for support. 'We have been accepted into the Pepsi Refresh grant contest. If, by the end of August, we are in the top 10 in our $50K category, we will win that funding.

'We want to spread the word about what we are doing and our unique opportunity to gain support by only asking for a minute a day from sailors (instead of actual money to support us).

'Winning this grant will mean that we will be able to do our work and tour the northeast US next summer visiting community sailing centers, towns and sailing clubs from New York City up to Cape Ann (in 2012 we will start in Marblehead and head north and east into Maine) without charging them and being able to take volunteers onboard to have the experience helping us with our mission while experiencing life at sea, learning about navigation, marine science and of course the joys of sailing.'

You can read all about them and the Rozalia Project on their web site: .

With inspiration like that, let's hope there are many other sailors in the world who are similarly motivated and will take direct action in the future. If there are, we'd like to hear from you!


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