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About Us

Ocean Recovery Alliance is focused on entrepreneurial programs to reduce plastic pollution, both on land and water, by creating strategic solutions for governments, industry and communities which lead to long-term, hands-on business practices that engage. Our mission is achieved through purposefully designed programs to educate, build awareness, and provide solutions which inspire positive societal change at the community, national, and international levels.

Ocean Recovery Alliance is an NGO focused on creating innovative solutions and collaborations to improve the health of the ocean. Its network of organizations, entrepreneurs and innovators, particularly related to plastic sustainability and circularity, but also dedicated to broad ocean governance and new thought leadership, helps create engaged and active dialogue where gaps often occur due to between entities that often do not have a history of working with one another.  The group creates purposefully designed activities to educate, build awareness and provide solutions which inspire positive societal change at the community, national and international levels.  

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Background

Ocean Recovery Alliance is a 501c3 registered non-profit in California, and is a registered charitable organization in Hong Kong.  Ocean Recovery Alliance takes a lead with a variety of existing stakeholders, leveraging each of their qualities and institutional capacities when needed, while combining forces with the business and technology sectors in ways that have not been done before.

Its founder, Douglas Woodring, was awarded the coveted Prince's Prize for Innovative Philanthropy from Prince Albert of Monaco for his work in this space. The group is an umbrella organization which operates and organizes a variety of sub-projects, some of which have their own operating teams, budgets and objectives.  In some cases, these projects may complement one another, and in others, they will be stand-alone. 

Two of the projects within the group were announced at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in 2010, and are focused on innovative prevention programs for plastic waste reduction.  This includes the Plastic Disclosure Project, and the Global Alert platform.  It has since written reports for the United Nations Environment (UNEP), "Valuing Plastic," and "Crafting High-Impact Voluntary Commitments to Reduce and Prevent Marine Litter," as well also the World Bank, and will publish another with UNEP in March 2019 on global plastic pollution commitments. 

About Our Logo: "Design is about conception, projection, aspiration, ambition, well before being about drawing. As a matter of fact, the purpose of design is first and foremost to give shape to the actual raison d’être of an organization. To make it meaningful, visible, sentient, and if possible, emotional. A successful logo has the power to connect someone to something, by relating something to someone. In the light of the above, the visual identity of Ocean Recovery Alliance is just brilliant, in so many ways:

Ocean is the focus: it is in great danger. The five rings in the logo represent the five largest oceans of the planet: Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern and Arctic.

 

Recovery is the goal: it is now or never.

 

Alliance is the way: only a collective effort and lasting engagement can work.

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Indeed, “to help improve our ocean environment” is the purpose of the organization, which makes it happen by bringing together “new ways of thinking, technologies, creativity and collaborations in order to introduce innovative projects and initiatives”. The number five is symbolic in the logo, as it represents the regenerative process and the potential for directing that energy towards a specific and defined goal of new creation, wisdom, balance, regeneration. The loop is closed. There are five oceans on Earth, but in reality, it is one body of water, and one ocean. There are five letters in the word “Ocean”. The logo contains five times the symbol of Oxygen which, as a component of water, is most of the mass of living organisms. Water which is the major constituent of lifeforms. There are also five circles here, which speak of Responsible Business and Sustainable Development #CircularAdvantage #Circularity2030, and also represent the "Olympics of the Ocean." - Pascal Beucler, Semiotician.

In Plasticity News, thanks to everyone who participated in Plasticity Bangkok as part of the UN's Sea of Solutions Week in November, with over 600 people in attendance.

We are pleased to have launched our summary report “Crafting High-Impact Voluntary Commitments to Prevent and Reduce Marine Litter” at Plasticity Bangkok, which introduces a new guide and scorecard, named “Commitments 2.0,” which was made possible by funding from United Nations Environment. These tools will allow stakeholders around the world to create stronger and more effective commitments to reducing plastic pollution, whether for large companies, governments, or small organizations with limited resources. The report is intended to challenge the ‘business as usual’ methods which have previously been used in crafting commitments, and now allows opportunities to engage communities with efficient, replicable and scalable commitments for the world to benefit from.

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Erden Eruc’s focus on human-powered transport in his global adventures means he sees up close the pollution in oceans and countries’ internal waters.

The 60-year-old world lone rower disembarked in his yellow row boat, and landed in Legazpi City on March 24, nine months or 239 days since he left Crescent City in Northern California on June 21, 2021. He had paddled across the earth’s circumference along the equator, a journey of 42,472.2 kilometers (26,391 miles).

30 Schools in North America live with Erden "somewhere" in the Pacific during his epic rowing expedition from California to Hong Kong

On the 21st of June, 2021, Erden Eruc, a global adventurer, started his epic journey, "Westbound Rower," across the Pacifc Ocean, rowing from Crescent City, California to Hong Kong. Due to the pandemic, he has finished this leg of his journey in Legazpi, Philippines, which is a new world record in rowing from America to The Philippines, and he's 3/4 of the way for the full crossing. He will now wait out the typhoon season to pass, and begin his journey to the Asian continent at the end of 2022 or early 2023, so stay tuned! This is the first-ever human-powered solo Pacific crossing north of the equator. In partnership with Ocean Recovery Alliance, this rowing adventure has helped to raise awareness about plastic pollution and the overall health of the ocean.

It will be the first ever mainland-to-mainland crossing of the Pacific Ocean between the Americas and Asia. We have also created some amazing, world-first education content for an expedition, each week, and in three languages - English, Chinese and Spanish. This content comes out on "Westbound Wednesdays," and is great for students, teachers and outdoor enthusiasts, or anyone who just wants to also track his amazing expedition! We've created over 32 weeks of great content!

Click on this StoryMap Link to track Erden's expedition live, and you'll love some of the engaging content here. All of our education programing can be found on the Westbound Rower Education Pages, so we hope you can spread the word!

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Check out our new SpyHop Facewear and Plastically Impossible jigsaw puzzles, both bringing engaged stories and education to those who use them.  The puzzles are great for the entire family to learn and think about plastic in a fun, challenging, creative way.  Essentially some of these are like undertaking a reverse beach cleanup, as you put the pieces back together to form the jigsaw puzzle image. SpyHop Facewear is great for reducing waste from disposable masks, and their cool ocean look creates a story for you to talk about while you are "SpyHopping" around your community.  SpyHopping, by the way, is when a whale comes out of the water, often vertically, to look around in the air to see its surroundings, much like you are doing with your eyes just above the facemask. Both can be purchased on our Ocean Recovery Alliance Shopify Site.

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We hope you were able to see "Skyscraper" the Whale, unveilved at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands. The incredible whale sculpture stands at over 11m tall, and is made from plastic from the Pacific Ocean, suggesting "Have We Breached the Limit?" in terms of the level of plastic pollution that reaches our environment, and inspires education, awareness and solutions as it greets visitors from all over the world. Brought to you by Ocean Recovery Alliance and StudioKCA. It is no longer in Singapore, but stay tuned for it's next Asian stopover.

Our Bangkok Ocean In Motion Film Festival was held in December, bringing together people of all ages and cultures to enjoy everything in, on and under the ocean - without having to get wet! The event features a series of short and mid-length films, each one documenting the beauty, power, excitement and importance of the ocean through stories of adventure, exploration, ecosystems, culture and science. We have run these events for five years in Asia, so let us know if you are interested to have an event in your city.

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Make the Case Competition for University students in East Asia, to find the "best" plastic pollution program, and create a "case" as to why it is good, and should be replicated, and learned from.

If you’re a University student anywhere in East Asia, you can enter our Make the Case competition, being hosted in collaboration with City University of Hong Kong. Teams of four students from any departments or focuses of study can enter, with the goal of highlighting the top Plastic Pollution reducing programs in the region (their own country, or any other country in East Asia). Registration has been extended until April 30th as well, so you still have time to put your team together (each of you can also be from different universities).

Cash prizes are on offer for the winners, as we want you to show the world what’s working well, how it should be replicated, learned from, and expanded. Thanks to Pictet Wealth Management and the Heinrich Boll Stiftung Foundation for their support for this in Inaugural pan-Asia competition!

Programs and Projects

Water Curriculum

We are pleased to announce and share our new water systems curriculum, from Mountains to the Sea - Jockey Club Water Caretakers of Tomorrow, which was also created into an exhibit at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum. The curriculum is mainly for ages 9-13, and if your school would be interested in using it, please let us know. It is free to use, and we believe, one of the best in the world in terms of interactive student work, indoor and outdoor, with eight stand-alone units that can fit into all types of educational styles or programs. It is available in both English and Chinese.

You can help support the Ocean by clicking here, as our innovative, creative and scalable programs are made possible because of your vision and engagement to help us expand our work. Some of our recent work is listed below, but also, don't forget that if you want to report trash hotspots anywhere in the world's waterways or coastlines, use our Global Alert platform to take up to three photos of big sections of trash, so that stakeholders in that community can use your data to better manage and prevent litter from polluting our waters. Click below to see our new short film, Streams of Plastic.

Global Alert Launch - Times Square, NY

You can bedcome involved with education in rural (or any) communities by supporting our play/puppet show, called "Uncle Roo - the Recycling Rooster". This is already in five languages, and we hope to have it in many more. YOUR DONATION can support new performances around the world by helping with costumes and local travel for the show to be performed in other villages, towns or schools in the community. Once this is performed, we want to have a video of it so we can post that on our Uncle Roo Youtube Channel for others to see and learn from.

On the Plasticity Forum front, we had two great Plasticity Forums this year in the US. One in Dallas, as part of Earth Day Texas, and the other in Anaheim as part of the annual ANTEC event by the Society of Plastics Engineers. A summary video of Plasticity California can be seen below. All presentations and videos of talks from Texas and Anaheim can be viewed here.

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