Home Made Boat Race Fundraiser to Raise Awareness for Marine Plastic Pollution

PROVINCETOWN – A unique event will be held today in Provincetown to highlight plastic pollution in our oceans.

The 8th annual Home Made Boat Race is the featured event of the Center for Coastal Studies Whale Week celebration.

Participants build and race homemade boats in Provincetown Harbor constructed from materials like plastics, trash and other materials commonly found on beaches.

Marine Education Director for the Center for Coastal Studies Jesse Mechling said the event has become a great fundraiser for education programs.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Mechling said. “People have come up with really interesting designs over the years. Some of them float, some of them not so much but it’s a great time even if they don’t float to see what some people have come up with.”

Some boats have been created with sails and others that even use pedal power.

“[There have been] all sorts of ingenious designs thrown on the beach all to raise money and then raise awareness for a really important issue,” Mechling said.

The event is sponsored by Venture Athletics Water Sports, the Crown and Anchor and J & E Produce.

An estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic are floating in oceans around the world.

Mechling said there have been 64 million tons of plastic that have entered the ocean since the race was created eight years ago.

“Much of the plastic that enters the ocean is disposable plastics coming from food industries and or packaging,” he said.

The plastic breaks up into small pieces that are ingested by hundreds of marine species.

“It also attracts pollutants that are in the water that are ingested by those animals,” Mechling said.

Although plastic generation and pollution is increasing, many communities, some locally like Provincetown, have begun to ban single-use plastic bags and straws.

“It’s really targeting those quick consumer, plastic items that have a short life because that is what we really see ending up in the ocean,” Mechling said. “A valuable piece of plastic won’t end up in the ocean but a piece of plastic like a straw that basically has no value will.”

The event begins at 5 p.m. behind the Crown and Anchor.

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