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Support Exeter’s Row for the Ocean crowdfunding campaign to mark World Oceans Day and take action against plastic pollution

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Today is World Oceans Day. What better day to think about the urgent need to clean up our act to prevent the ever-growing tide of plastic pollution in our seas?

It’s predicted that, by 2050, the amount of plastic discarded in the ocean will outweigh the amount of fish. Not a legacy to be proud of, is it?

We can all do our bit to help clean up ocean plastics

That’s why I am volunteering my services as a PR and media consultant to the fab four women - Ros, Kate, Kirsty and Laura - who are team ‘Row for the Ocean’. Come December, they’ll be rowing unsupported 3,000 miles across the Atlantic to raise awareness of the ocean plastics issue and funds for their chosen charity, South-West based Surfers Against Sewage.

Surfers Against Sewage is at the forefront of the Plastic Free Movement. This was recognised just last night when SAS’s Plastic Free Communities initiative scooped the Environment and Conservation Award at the national Charity Awards 2018.

I met up with the Row for the Ocean girls at Exmouth Marina yesterday afternoon, ahead of a weekend of full-on training for them at sea. They’ll be heading out later today to spend two days rowing and two nights on their boat, the first time they’ll have eaten and slept on it and the longest stretch they’ve spent in each other’s company so far!

The TaliskerWhisky Atlantic Challenge Race and Plastic Free Exeter

I’m full of admiration for what Row for the Ocean is taking on as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge Race. They aim to row from the Canary Islands to the West Indies faster than any other women in the race and, weather permitting, break the record of 36 days set last year. To do that, they’ll be braving mountainous waves, a punishing schedule rowing two at a time in two-hour on, two-hour off shifts, not to mention exhaustion, dehydration and a monotonous diet of dehydrated food.

Why? (You may well ask!) Because the race gives them a unique platform to raise funds for SAS’s educational programme, Ocean Schools, and to inspire action to end single-use plastic. They are also rowing to raise awareness of the Plastic Free Exeter campaign they set up to make their home city - and mine - the largest plastic free city in the UK by 2020.

We can’t all use oar-power to take action, but we do all have muscle-power to effect some degree of change, for example by refusing to buy single-use plastic, taking part in beach clean activities, improving our own recycling efforts or backing campaigns like Plastic Free Exeter.

Can you support Row for the Ocean?

Row for the Ocean has had to raise £100,000 just to get them to the start line of the race. They aim to raise a further £60,000 for Surfers Against Sewage. And they are currently making a final push to raise £10,000 through a Crowdfunder Campaign for the last equipment needed. On World Oceans Day, can you support them by making a donation? Go on, head over to and make a pledge for a cheeky reward. Just nine days until it ends so don’t put it off!



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