British environmentalist set to paddle the length of New York’s Hudson River to tackle plastic pollution
1 Woman. 8 Days. 275 kilometres
British Environmentalist and adventurer, Lizzie Carr, is embarking on the challenge of a lifetime: to successfully travel the length of the Hudson River using entirely human powered means – a paddle board. The eight-‐day feat of endurance comes with an important environmental purpose – to highlight the issue of plastic pollution, ocean health and its role in climate change through a series of scientific sampling and community outreach initiatives on her route.
On 6th September Lizzie will leave Albany, New York State – the start of the tidal river -‐ and take the first strokes of this 275km (170 mile) journey that will see her paddle for more than one week consecutively – almost a marathon a day – to cover the distance. She will be carrying 20kg of equipment on her paddle board, including a tent and supplies along the river. Lizzie is no stranger to a challenge. After overcoming a battle with cancer in 2015, she became the first person in history to paddle board the length of England solo and unsupported a year later, and in 2017 became the first woman to solo paddle board across the English Channel -‐ another world first.
She says, “America is one of the world’s biggest consumers of single use plastic with 80 per cent of it being used only once before it’s thrown away. This is a man-‐made problem and can be stopped by people and businesses thinking and acting more responsibly. 80 percent of marine debris starts from inland sources ‐ including rivers like the Hudson – before it eventually flows out to the ocean. By addressing the problem of plastic pollution from its source we can tackle a global crisis effectively. I want my journey along the Hudson to motivate people to take action, so together, we can make a real difference to resolve the global problem of plastics choking our seas.”
Lizzie will be collecting water samples for micro plastic analysis and testing the latest Smartfin technology fitted with sensors that measure multiple ocean and riverine parameters including temperature, location, and water motion characteristics; helping to create a baseline for understanding riverine trends and ocean warming indicators.
The Londoner, who founded the Plastic Patrol initiative earlier this year-‐ a community driven volunteer scheme helping to clean up inland waterways by paddle board -‐ is also inviting people to join her along the Hudson in a series of beach clean-‐up operations in in partnership with River keeper and Hudson River Park Trust and supported by REN Skincare, taking place on:
- Sunday, September 9th, 3:30-‐5:30, Kaal Rock Park in Poughkeepsie
- Wednesday, September 12th, 5:30-‐7:00, Croton Point Park in Croton-‐on-‐the-‐Hudson
- Friday, September 14th, 5:30-‐6:30, Pier 26 Hudson River Park, NY
There are FREE paddleboard taster sessions at each clean up and people are encouraged to sign up for a spot here: lizzieoutside.co.uk/clean-‐ups/
Lizzie’s epic challenge will culminate on the 15th September when she paddles through New York City and joins the APP World Tour to race to the final destination on her route – the Statue of Liberty – ending her adventure with purpose.
Having operated a series of successful plastic clean-‐up operations throughout the UK this summer and removing more than 80 tons of waste from waterways, Lizzie explains, “It’s through community efforts and people driven initiatives like Plastic Patrol that we are able to build an evidence base for accountability of perpetrating brands and bring about meaningful change. My mission for this challenge is to create a legacy that empowers individuals and communities to tackle plastic pollution head on and believe that their individuals actions, no matter how small, make a difference.”
All participants of the beach cleans will geo tag the plastic waste collected via the Plastic Patrol app to add to a growing global database. To date, the app houses crowdsourced uploads from 14 countries worldwide and shows more than 50,000 examples of global plastic hotspots and can be download for anyone to catalogue plastic waste. Lizzie says, “My overall aim is to rid the world of single use plastic. The waterways should be a natural playground, not a dumping ground. I’m bringing my mission to America, as one of the worst offending nations when it comes to plastic pollution, to encourage people in the US and globally to take positive action in the fight to save the future of our planet.”
Follow Lizzie’s journey via the hashtags #plasticpatrol #savethefuture #thehudsonproject and in real time via a live tracker at: lizzieoutside.co.uk/live-‐tracker/.
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