Through the LEARN programme, we are contributing to the advancement of scientific knowledge regarding water plastic pollution, the consequences of which are still largely ignored.
Odyssey 2015: a first odyssey dedicated to research
In 2015, the first Odyssey enabled a global situational analysis of this pollution to be made together with the initiation of scientific studies, the first results of which have been published in a scientific report entitled “Quantitative and qualitative analysis of the plastic marine debris collected along the coast”
The research topics are based on the study of macro-debris and microplastics collected on 30 beaches located within the zone of ‘gyres’ in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.
Thanks to this expedition, we have confirmed the fact that the majority of plastic debris that ends up in the heart of the oceans is very small in size. Referred to as “microplastics” by scientists, they concentrate the pollutants that end up in the water and have numerous toxic effects on marine organisms. A team of researchers from the University of Bordeaux in France is currently working on these data to understand the eco-toxicological effects of microplastics on cells, embryos, larvae and juveniles of fish. Their study, based on the collection made by Race for Water, will soon be published in a renowned scientific journal.
Odyssey 2017 – 2021: new missions on an exceptional vessel
Back in April 2017, the Race for Water teams headed off again aboard a revolutionary vessel on a new expedition, the Odyssey 2017-2021, in a bid to continue their mission to deal with this environmental scourge.
Adapted for scientific expeditions, the Race for Water vessel was completely redesigned in 2016 to provide optimal working conditions on-board. Thanks to her 90m2 dedicated to research, her stability and her self-sufficiency in terms of energy, this vessel can host teams of five to seven researchers.
A PLATFORM FOR EXCHANGE: "WATER GUARDIAN EXPERTS"
Following its first Odyssey, the foundation has also initiated an international communication platform to enable exchanging and sharing of its expertise with a view to turning the tide on plastic pollution of the oceans.
Today, this platform gathers together a whole community of experts, the majority of whom have been encountered during the stopovers for these two Odysseys: researchers, organisations, associations, institutions, governments, entrepreneurs and manufacturers.