Saturday, July 25, 2015

Happy Stewardship Saturday!

For this week’s Stewardship Saturday, we will take a look at Plastic Tides, a group comprised of dedicated adventure conservationists with a common goal: shedding light on plastic pollution. 

Relying solely on stand-up paddleboards, Plastic Tides' expeditions have taken them to remote locations around the world to both document the beauty and expose the rampant plastic pollution that threatens these wild ecosystems. Combining adventure and hard science, these expeditions bring fresh awareness to the ubiquitous problem of marine debris, at home and abroad.

This year, Plastic Tides will be using their Club Fostered Stewardship grant funds to support their Microbead Free Finger Lakes project. This project combines local research with an effective and professional media strategy to promote a bill banning microbeads from consumer products statewide. 

Plastic Tides will work with volunteers to collect surface samples from Cayuga Lake and neighboring Finger Lakes that will be analyzed for the presence of plastic microbeads. The samples will be collected using a manta trawl that is pulled behind the paddleboard at a steady speed, skimming the surface. Volunteers will be trained in effective stand up paddle sampling methods. The samples will be chemically processed using wet peroxide oxidation before being examined under a light microscope for the presence of microbeads and other plastics, such as synthetic clothing fibers from laundry effluent. Plastic Tides will coordinate with volunteers to document their efforts and facilitate spreading the message through social media, and local news outlets.

Through funds provided by L.L. Bean, the ACA's Club Fostered Stewardship program has provided nearly $130,000 to over 135 different stewardship initiatives since its inception thirteen years ago. 

To learn more about the great work Plastic Tides is doing, please visit their website: 

Are you inspired to start your own local stewardship project? Apply for some CFS grant funds of your own--you can get more information on that here

In the meantine, order yourself a Paddle Green Bag and join the ACA's Stream to Sea Initiative today

Stewardship Saturday is an ongoing theme of the ACA Water Blog where we we shine a spotlight on organizations and individuals who are working hard to make the world a better place to paddle. Want to be featured? Email ACA Communications Coordinator Catharine Lloyd at to tell her about the stewardship work you are doing in your local community.

Paddle often, #PaddleGreen!

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