In this TYT interview, Jayde Lovell, host of ScIQ on The Young Turks Network, sits down with Dr. Marcus Eriksen to discuss his advocacy work in eliminating plastics pollution from the world’s oceans. They also discuss how his experiences on active duty inspired him to found the research institute that would later be the champion in banning plastic microbeads throughout the state of California.
Having grown up in the wilderness of Louisiana, Dr. Marcus Eriksen’s childhood was heavily influenced by the outdoors and later, science. In a politically conservative community such as his, enlisting in the military quickly followed high school. It was in a moment of chaos, covered in petroleum oil and hiding in a foxhole, that he resolved to raft the Mississippi River were he to make it out alive from war.
After safely returning home and having successfully completing his river voyage as a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War, Eriksen embarked on a new journey: he rode a raft made from thousands of plastic bottles washed ashore out to sea, garnering national attention on the effects of plastic pollution in all its forms on marine life.
While riding the raft, Eriksen found patches of garbage floating through the water, and fish with plastic beads in their intestines. Wanting to put a stop to the harm plastic causes to fish, and the people that eat them, together with his wife Anna Cummins, Dr. Eriksen founded the 5 Gyres Institute, the first organization to publicize research on ocean plastic pollution and microbeads in the ocean.
Today, Dr. Marcus Eriksen continues his environmental advocacy in news ways as the author of JUNKRAFT, the book which tells the story of his bottle raft voyage, and by co-founding Leap Lab, an education center on sustainable living for cities.
SCIQ ON THE YOUNG TURKS
Produced by Jayde Lovell and Bec Susan Gill. ScIQ is a partner of the The Young Turks Network.
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Director: Simone Kisiel
Camera: Zarif Taufiq
Audio/Editor: Brandon Palmieri
Shot at YouTube Space NY
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