October 27, 2008

Around the Americas Sailing Expedition and Awareness Campaign Kicks Off in Seattle With Support From Pacific Science Center and Sailors for the Sea

SEATTLE, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Renowned non-profit organizations, the Pacific Science Center (http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/ )and Sailors for the Sea (http://www.sailorsforthesea.org/), announced locally today a one-year environmental sailing expedition and circumnavigation around-the-Americas. This education-based voyage and awareness project is the brainchild of David Rockefeller, Jr., noted sailor, philanthropist and member of the Pew Ocean Commission, and Stanwood, Wash. resident and record-setting ocean sailor Mark Schrader. To steer this exciting ocean-environmental project, Rockefeller's Sailors for the Sea, a national organization that educates and empowers the boating community to protect and restore our oceans and coastal waters, has partnered with Seattle's very own Pacific Science Center, a nationally recognized leader in informal science and environment education.

After an announcement last week to the east coast community, the group moved west to bring the project home to Seattle, where the expedition will begin its grand voyage next spring. On hand for the announcement were representatives from the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory (http://www.apl.washington.edu/about_apl-uw/about_apl-uw.php), premier center for research, development and advanced education in science and engineering, and the science partner for the project.

"North and South America are surrounded by a large, complex, and frighteningly fragile ocean environment -- and these oceans are changing in large part as a result of human activity," said Rockefeller. "The goal of this expedition is to build broad awareness among everyday citizens of the precipitous changes occurring throughout the world's oceans and the impact these changes have on various ecosystems and human life."

Around the Americas is an education-focused effort intended to bolster awareness of the ocean environment and to mobilize public support for local and national conservation programs. The oceans of North and South America are changing rapidly: fish stocks and other marine creatures are vanishing; acidity is rising; and the melting of the Arctic and Antarctic ice is raising the sea level and threatening low-lying areas. The world's oceans are at serious risk.

This never-before-accomplished voyage, captained by renowned ocean sailor Mark Schrader, will begin in Seattle in May 2009, with the crew traveling north through the formerly icebound Northwest Passage and continuing along the coast, making 30 ports-of-call throughout the Americas before returning to Seattle in Spring 2010.

"Around the Americas is unlike any sailing adventure I've ever captained, as we'll leverage its dramatic nature to bring public attention to something so utterly important," said Captain Schrader, the project's director who will preside over the boat. "This voyage will bring audiences throughout many parts of the world in direct contact with the health of our oceans through scientific observation and evaluation. Our goal is to provide a platform for scientists, researchers and educators to bring the urgency of the issues into the forefront for regular folks."

Together with key partners like initial underwriter Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Sailors for the Sea and the Pacific Science Center will provide direct access to the project's progress through educational feeds to classrooms, after-school programs and homes. Media events at key ports of call will feature scientific experts discussing the relationship between larger patterns of global climate change and the impact on local ocean environments.

About Sailors for the Sea

Founded in 2004 and based in Boston, Mass., Sailors for the Sea is an action-oriented, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education, programs and resources to motivate and empower sailors and other boaters to preserve, protect, and enjoy the harbors, bays and oceans upon which they sail. For more information on or to participate in any of the Sailors for the Sea programs, or to become a member and support the organization, visit http://www.sailorsforthesea.org/.

About Pacific Science Center

Pacific Science Center (http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/) is an independent, not-for-profit educational institution that inspires lifelong interest in science, math and technology by engaging diverse communities through interactive and innovative exhibits and programs in every county of Washington state and beyond.

    For more Information:    Dan McConnell                  Lauren Curley    Around the Americas            Sailors for the Sea    [email protected]      [email protected]    (206) 223-6466                 (781) 383-6406  

Sailors for the Sea; Pacific Science Center

CONTACT: Dan McConnell of Around the Americas, +1-206-223-6466,[email protected]; or Lauren Curley of Sailors for the Sea,+1-781-383-6406, [email protected]

Web site: http://www.sailorsforthesea.org/http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/