The Ambassador program is designed to educate and empower 5 Gyres’ global network of supporters to take action against plastic pollution. Ambassadors are key volunteers who are provided with a solid background on plastic pollution research, policy, and solutions, coupled with training and tools to help them become leaders and take action against plastic pollution within their local communities.
MEET 5 GYRES AMBASSADOR ORESTIS HERODOTOU,
A SOFTWARE ENGINEER IN OAKLAND, CA
"I first met the 5 Gyres team in 2012 through my involvement with a project that connected underprivileged youth with the ocean. It was really powerful for the kids to see and touch actual pieces of plastic that came from deep in the ocean, and get an opportunity to ask questions and voice their thoughts.
I loved how Marcus and his team were all about collaborating and getting people together. I think becoming part of the community is such an important aspect that 5 Gyres really represents—I was thrilled when I was offered a spot on the 2015 SEA Change Expedition. Nothing could prepare me how much plastic we collected during our trawls. Each and every time we put a net in the water, we pulled out little pieces of plastic.
Picture this: you’re in the middle of nowhere, water on every horizon, many days from land, but you’re staring at a granola bar wrapper float by. Being part of the research really allowed me to better understand the magnitude of the issue and really feel what these numbers mean. That’s why I think getting people involved through citizen science is so important. The best part though, was that I got to hangout with some of the most inspiring people on earth. It was like the all-star game of awesome humans, and I feel like the bonds we made are strong enough to outlast the most stubborn piece of polyethylene out there.
As a 5 Gyres Ambassador, I've led a beach transect study with students from a San Francisco State ecology class on a windy day at ocean beach. I’ve given presentations to community groups about my experiences on the expedition and helped table and engage the public with 5 Gyres at several events like the wonderful San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival. I’ve also weathered the rain to monitor trash with 5 Gyres, as part of Tracking California Trash project, which helps cities work towards zero waste output."