Jeff Williams is a chapter member and activist who got the opportunity of a lifetime recently. Through his work, Jeff applied for a chance to go to Ascension Island to lead a project. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascension_Island You have probably never heard of this island in the middle of the Atlantic. But if you are an avid reader of the Inertia you may have read this - https://www.theinertia.com/surf/this-chilling-survival-story-of-a-hawaiian-man-attacked-by-multiple-sharks-is-miraculous/ But a warning that is a gruesome shark attack story.
Yes there are waves. No it is not advisable to surf there.
When Jeff explained that he would be on Ascension for three months, and that he wanted to help advance Surfrider’s mission in some way, we thought the best opportunity would be around plastics; seeing what’s there, doing cleanups, recording data and all that. After all, there are parts of remote islands whose proximity to the ocean gyres leaves them covered in plastics like here.
But so far, Jeff has found very little plastic debris besides what is sold in the stores on the island; clearly littered carelessly by local visitors. It could be the strong local currents or the relative lack of sandy beaches on the steep volcanic island. We hope Jeff will continue to hunt for trash on Ascension and we will keep you updated. We have since learned from our activists in Hawaii that trash easily accumulates on the windward side of an island, the side that faces into the oncoming trade winds. But very little trash accumulates on the leeward side of the islands, the side that faces the same direction as the trade winds.
There are other things to learn in terms of wildlife and past practices that we will expand on in future posts. Please browse back for them. Here is a video on more about Ascension Island from one of its most recent visitors.