The Race for Water Foundation is a charity dedicated to water preservation. The Foundation aims to identify, promote and help implement solutions that give end-of-life plastics a value and therefore prevent the plastic pollution of the waterways. Using an innovative approach inspired by the principles of a circular economy and social entrepreneurship, the foundation seeks to create new sources of income for the people most affected by pollution by giving an economic value to plastic waste.
In July this year the Race for Water vessel has been transformed into a scientific station, acting also as a conference center for the first “From plastic waste to energy” seminar and for the first workshop of the Odyssey 2017-2021.
More specifically, Race for Water was turned into a floating laboratory for a series of sampling and testing of micro-plastics on the Bermudian beaches and surrounding waters. Raimundo Blanco (University of Vigo), Camilla C. Carteny (University of Antwerp) and Christelle Clérandeau (University of Bordeaux) are the first scientists to benefit from the facilities on this 90m2 oceanographic research vessel. All three scientists are involved in the EPHEMARE project, supported by the European consortium, JPI Oceans, and are studying the contamination by micro-plastics and consequent effects on aquatic species, both invertebrates and fish. On board Race for Water, with the help of the crew and local scientists, they will collect as many micro-plastic samples as possible from water columns, emerged and submerged sediments, as well as sea cucumbers and bivalves. Three areas of interest will be covered: Whale Bone Bay, Well Bay and Evans Bay. The samples will then be used to distinguish the pollutants present on the surface of these micro-plastics and to measure their potential toxicity with respect to one or two model marine species.