Off the coast of Haiti, the water is blue, clear, and warm. At first glance, it may seem like any other Carribean paradise. Unfortunately, however, this isn't necessarily the case. Massive amounts of plastic and trash make their way to the mouths of rivers and out into the open ocean spoiling what could be, under different circumstances, a pristinely beautiful ocean environment.
It is a known fact that Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Whatever resources the country does have are used just to sustain the most basic living standards for those on the island. With 80% of Haitians living in poverty, the money required to build infrastructure and systems for waste management and recycling simply has never been available. There is no weekly garbage pickup. There are no bins for recycling. So in places like Haiti, trash goes on the ground. That is just the way it is.
However, with the opening of 4ocean Haiti and the build-out of our amazing cleanup team there, which has grown to 80+ individuals, we are trying to change the attitudes and perceptions of the Haitian people while also providing some of the necessary capital and infrastructure to begin tackling the problem.
Enter Captain Fred Pierre Louis, one of the captains in charge of the daily cleanup boats. Captain Louis brings to the team local knowledge and extreme passion for his country. With a never say quit attitude and a true understanding of the problem, he is helping to pull hundreds of thousands of pounds of trash from the ocean and coastlines every month. Check out this amazing video of Captain Louis, in his own words.
"People don't have trash cans. They throw trash anywhere, and when it rains, it all ends up in the ocean," says Louis. "It was my vision to have a clean ocean and 4ocean came to clean up the ocean."
"We create trash and we are the ones who should take care of it," Louis adds.
The problem of ocean plastic pollution is a complicated one, but when we can go into a country, set up infrastructure, create jobs, restore a sense of pride in the community, give people hope, and help clean the ocean and coastlines at the same time, that feeling of accomplishment transcends the problem. And it is people like Captain Louis that make it happen every day!
To get in on the conversation about ocean plastic pollution, head on over to our Discover 4ocean Facebook Group. Also, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up to date on all things 4ocean!
When it comes to marine mammals and the cuteness factor, the beloved sea otter is definitely up there at the top of the list. However, don't let their adorable faces distract you from the fact that sea otters also play a very important role in the health of their local ecosystems. For the remaining populations around the world, the conservation of this keystone species is critical and must remain a high priority if sea otters are to survive the many challenges facing them today. Warning: Adorable Photos Inside.
Ever wonder what it's like to be part of a 4ocean Cleanup Crew? Well, here's your chance to spend a day in the life! Follow the 4ocean Haiti team as they prepare for the day, clean up the ocean and coastlines, and sort all the plastic and trash they find during their cleanup. It is a lot of work and we do it 7 days a week!
Back in November of 2018, we were so excited about the launch of the 4ocean Ocean Plastic Recovery Vessel and totally fired up to start cleaning up massive amounts of plastic pollution from river mouths and the ocean. But, we quickly learned that she just wasn't quite ready to start her mission. So, it was back to the shipyard for some modifications. Check out all the new things we needed to get her back underway.