For those of you who don’t know me here is my story:
My friends call me the Ocean lover, the girl from the sea or the Princess of Plastic. My real name is Yanitza. Previously, I was an urban planner working in Brussels and diving as much as possible. Today, I dive every day to protect the beautiful coral reefs of Koh Tao and I study the impacts of Plastic pollution on our beaches and on the Ocean. After visiting New Heaven Reef Conservation Program (NHRCP) twice, I knew I had to take action against the plastic problem which this wonderful island is facing. With the support of a team of incredible people, life flew me to Hawaii. I studied Ocean Policy at the prestigious University of Hawaii and worked with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. Everything I know and am trying to implement today is thanks to the passionate and knowledgeable people that I was lucky enough to meet and learn from over the past year.
Koh Tao is a small tropical island on the Gulf of Thailand and is one of the most popular places in the world to attain a diving certificate. Every year about a million divers and water adventurers come to experience the warm waters and enjoy the beautiful reefs around the island.
Currently, during my internship with NHRCP, I'm performing a Marine plastic pollution assessment for the island. This involves organizing beach cleanups every 3rd day with students from the program, which I take detailed data from
My goal for this study is to provide an accurate picture of the marine plastic pollution on the island and the surrounding water. The second step is to provide reasonable ways to for locals and tourists to reduce plastic consumption which are easy enough to implement and for local authorities to enforce. I would also like to create a one hour lecture on Plastic and Marine debris with local data for future students visiting NHRCP as well as having a version translated in Thai for local schools.
My evaluation will be based on data collection via two different channels; regular beach cleanups, and the Trawl Share Program from 5 Gyres Institute.
We have a tireless group of interns and students at the program helping collect data and perform beach cleanups as often as possible. So far, we have carried out 25 beach cleanups in 2 months with more than 300kg collected. Here some pictures of the amazing people helping me.
The Trawl Share Program is set up so that the trawls are borrowed from the 5 Gyres Institute and returned or sent to the next location to be used for research. Please assist us to ensure that the Trawl can come and be transported back after spending one year at the NHRCP. Help me to perform a detailed and scientific study of Marine Plastic Pollution for local authorities. This citizen science program was launched by 5 Gyres Institute in order to allow average people like us to be part of the global project Global Estimate of Marine Plastic Pollution.
The shipment cost of the Trawl is $USD800 one way. I would like to make sure that the program has enough resources to get it here and send it back after collecting data in Koh Tao’s waters. This part of the ocean has never been sampled; please help us fill in this data gap by donating to our ‘Go Get Funding’ page. You can help us make this work, every donation big or small will be helping win the fight against plastic.
The fundraise will run until October 4th, 2017. If we are lucky enough to exceed our goals, all funds beyond the 1.500€ goal will go toward the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program and all the projects undergoing that aim to preserve our Oceans and Biodiversity.