After crossing 40,000 nautical miles, the crew from the Race for Odyssey (R4WO) expedition cruised into the New York Harbor this week. The six-man crew set off from Bordeaux, France on March 15th with the goal of traversing the Atlantic in order to analyze the dire state of our littered oceans and create the first global assessment on marine pollution.

Race for Water

The RW40 crew will remain in NYC to attend a number of events focused on ocean conservation and pollution prevention. They will also participate in two United Nations conferences led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) specifically geared towards addressing the issue of plastic litter in our oceans. The ambitious group will then be honored at the “Global Partnership on Marine Litter” event.

Related:There are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the oceans

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, applauded the research initiative. “The Race for Water Odyssey is a pioneering and inspiring expedition that is helping to uncover the true impact of pollution in the world’s oceans, 80 per cent of which comes from human activities,” he said. “Through their bold mission to extend our limited knowledge of waste gyres, and the major environmental threat they pose, the Odyssey’s crew are inspiring us all to take action and speak up for the oceans, the lifeblood of our blue planet”.

Once their time in NYC comes to an end, the crew will continue to Necker Island to participate in a Leadership Program developed by Virgin founder, Richard Branson. Afterwards, the team will continue their research by sailing through the Panama Canal to the Pacific Ocean, where they will conduct a second series of marine pollution analysis on the South Pacific trash gyre.

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Images via Race for Water Facebook Page