In September 2017, 5 Gyres embarks on its 18th expedition, this time in partnership with Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI). 5 Gyres Research Director Dr. Marcus Eriksen will join the crew of the 200-foot Tall Ship SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, a USCG-approved Sailing School Vessel, to research plastic pollution during its voyage above the Arctic Circle. The Expedition is open to the 5 Gyres community; all who participate will be part of the crew and contribute as citizen scientists to research.

Comprising a portion of the Perry’s 14,000 nautical mile voyage from Nova Scotia to the Arctic and Northwest Passage, 5 Gyres’ plastic pollution research will take place during the trip from Resolute Bay to Pond Inlet, Nunavut from September 10th to 20th (Leg 6).

SSV Oliver Hazard Perry is the first ocean-going full-rigged Tall Ship to be built in America in more than 100 years, and will also become the first full-rigged ship to sail the Northwest Passage in that same period. Perry is a modern, steel-hulled vessel purpose-built for training and education to the highest modern safety standards. She accommodates 49 people overnight (including 17 professional crew) and is wheelchair accessible. The mission of the non-profit OHPRI is to provide innovative, empowering education-at-sea programs that promote personal and professional growth.

The voyage is open to the 5 Gyres community and will follow a similar route to our 2016 Expedition, which was presented in real time on the social media-enabled map below and can be seen in this video. 5 Gyres will utilize the data in the forthcoming 2017 update of the Global Estimate of Plastic Pollution, which was the first to assess the quantities of surface plastic pollution in the ocean, finding 5.25 trillion particles weighing in at 270,000 tons of “plastic smog” worldwide. Click here for more information on signing up! Update 5.25.17: Due to extenuating circumstances, OHPRI has cancelled this Expedition.


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Our 17th Expedition gathered a group of 22 citizen scientists for two weeks on the Arctic exploration vessel Akademik Sergey Vavilov. The expedition primarily focused on micro- and nanoplastic research. It was managed by ExploringCircle, which donates a percentage of proceeds to non-profit organizations like 5 Gyres, and was the first  to share real-time data and photo updates with our community.


The 2015 SEA Change Expedition traveled over 3000 nautical throughout the North Atlantic Gyre with a crew of 64 citizen scientists. Along with the Schooner Mystic crew of 14 sailors, the voyage also transported representatives from other nonprofit organizations and research facilities, as well as notable watermen and women, such as musician and activist Jack Johnson and ocean conservation activist Celine Cousteau.


5 Gyres' Expedition from Bermuda to Iceland was designed with the intention to better understand the distribution of plastic pollution in the North Atlantic Subpolar Gyre. The 14-person crew collected 41 samples to determine microplastic concentrations in the region and carried out  40 visual observations to track the macroplastic pollution in the area. Data contributed to 5 Gyres' first Global Estimate of Plastic Pollution.

Previous 5 Gyres Expeditions


2013 Bermuda to Rhode Island

2013 Lake Michigan

2012 Japan to Hawaii

2012 Marshall Islands to Hawaii

2012 Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie

2011 Hawaii to Vancouver

2011 Easter Island to Tahiti

2011 Chile to Easter Island

2011 Namibia to Uruguay

2010 Brazil to South Africa

2010 Ascension Island

2010 Bermuda to Azores

2010 Bahamas to Bermuda

2009 Los Angeles to Hawaii