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Ocean Research Project to set sail on Pacific mission

Chesapeake Sailor and founder of the non-profit Ocean Research Project Matt Rutherford will set sail with his assistant/Scientist Nicole Trenholm on a mission to across the Pacific Ocean to Japan.

The mission will focus on studying the effect of plastics on the ocean ecosystem.

The pair completed a similar mission last year in the Atlantic Ocean.

Matt Rutherford, an Annapolis native, completed the first solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the America’s in 2012.

The mission will leave from the San Francisco area later in April aboard a W.D. Shock Harbor 29 sailboat outfitted specifically for the mission. Scientific data will be analyzed in Tokyo and Baltimore after the trip ends after about 80 days at sea. The pair is hoping to make this a non-stop mission, with some extended down time in Japan after completing the journey.

They will be dragging a specialized net, capturing samples along a specified route. The pair will also be generating data for NOAA weather databases and other such observations along the entire route.

The preparations for the trip and interviews with both Matt and Nicole have been documented in the most recent episodes of the 59 degrees north Podcast hosted by Lancaster, PA resident, and world cruiser Andy Schell and can be found at 59-north.com.

The ocean research project was formed by Matt Rutherford after his around the American trip as a way to foster ocean research on a small, affordable scale as a complement to larger, more expensive, more comprehensive research. The Ocean Research Project is actively seeking donations and sponsorship for future endeavors. See www.oceanresearchproject.org