Beacon Press: Junk Raft
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Junk Raft

An Ocean Voyage and a Rising Tide of Activism to Fight Plastic Pollution

Author: Marcus Eriksen

An exciting account of an activist scientist’s unorthodox fight against plastic marine pollution and of his expedition across the Pacific on a home-made junk raft

Over the past several years, the news media has brought the “Great Pacific garbage patch”—that famous Texas-sized patch of litter swirling in the ocean—into the public consciousness. When Marcus Eriksen co-founded the 5 Gyres Institute and set out to study marine pollution, he found that the reality is even more dire: instead of a stable mass of litter, he discovered that a “plastic smog” of microparticles permeates the world’s oceans, defying easy clean-up efforts. What’s more, these microplastics have seeped into the food chain, threatening marine animals and humans alike.

Far from being a gloomy treatise on an environmental catastrophe, Junk Raft tells the exciting story of Eriksen’s fight to raise awareness and solve the problem of plastic pollution. Readers follow Eriksen on his voyage from Los Angeles to Hawaii aboard his homemade raft, and along the way he recounts his successful efforts to fight corporate influence and demand that plastics producers take responsibility for a problem they’ve created. Eriksen provides concrete, actionable solutions and an empowering message that it’s up to bold activists and citizen scientists to challenge the status quo for the sake of the planet.
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“Eriksen succeeds in dramatizing a significant problem and enlisting popular support, noting some immediate steps that can be taken to create recyclable products...The thrills and chills of rafting packaged with a compelling call to action.”
Kirkus Reviews

“This book combines many of my favorite things—adventure far from shore, the spirit of exploration, and the fight to save our oceans—all in a gripping narrative that’s also a parable for our time. In the battle for the future of our living world, Marcus Eriksen is a true warrior.”
—James Cameron, filmmaker and deep-ocean explorer

Junk Raft takes us on an exciting and quixotic voyage of exploration, adventure, and activism, and along the way, Marcus Eriksen somehow manages to turn his cutting-edge research into an engaging love story. Don’t be fooled by the title—Eriksen’s Junk Raft carries a treasure chest full of adventurous stories, wise insights, and valuable lessons on how to protect our oceans.”
—Stuart H. Coleman, author of Eddie Would Go and Hawaii manager of the Surfrider Foundation

“Navigating between an epic seafaring adventure and an activist’s environmental distress call, Junk Raft serves as a reflection of the choices and journeys that each of us makes and helps us understand how plastic in the oceans is deeply intertwined with the future of human life. Eriksen gets at the heart of what it means to respond to environmental catastrophe on our imperiled planet. As Marcus’s wife, Anna, puts it so memorably, ‘Love creates justice.’”
—Céline Cousteau, documentary filmmaker, artist, and environmental activist

“When the junk raft was originally making its crossing from California to Hawaii, it was big news for ocean lovers around the world. Because the issue of plastic pollution was dear to our hearts, we were all rooting for the crew, eager to find out if they would actually make it across the ocean. It’s exciting to now be able to read such a personal account of these adventures, exploring the thoughts that were going through Marcus’s mind, and the daily challenges that arise when taking a journey as monumental as this one.”
—Jack Johnson, musician and clean-ocean activist


Junk Raft

ISBN: 978-080705640-0
Publication Date: 7/4/2017
Size:6 x 9 Inches (US)
Price:  $26.95
Format: Cloth
Not Yet Published
Will Ship On: July 2017
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