Internationally Renowned Experts Convene to Discuss Plastic Pollution Crisis | South Carolina Aquarium

Internationally Renowned Experts Convene to Discuss Plastic Pollution Crisis

Mar 16

Internationally Renowned Experts Convene to Discuss Plastic Pollution Crisis

CHARLESTON, S.C. — March 10, 2017: The South Carolina Aquarium, a national leader in connecting people with water, wildlife and wild places, will host a panel of renowned experts for the Holland Lifelong Learning finale, Plastic Planet: Turning the Tides on the Plastic Pollution Crisis. As part of the Aquarium’s celebrated adult learning series, the March 30 evening will begin at 6 p.m. at the Francis Marion Hotel and will offer diverse perspectives related to the issue of plastic pollution. Attendees will hear from global and domestic policy makers, marine scientists, corporate innovators, and grassroots mobilization leaders.

No issue facing the health of our oceans and marine life is more pressing than that of plastic pollution. The panel discussion will explore plastic pollution and its growing threat to our planet’s health.

Judith Enck, Keynote Speaker and Environmental Policy Expert

Enck is a Visiting Scholar at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in New York’s Hudson Valley. She served as the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overseeing environmental protection in New York, New Jersey, Indian Nations in New York, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Vipe Desai, Board of Directors, Ocean Champions and CEO, HDX Hydration Mix

Desai is an avid surfer and a serial disruptor. During the 30+ years of management, marketing and brand building experience gained while working with start-ups, non-profits and Fortune 500 brands, he realized his experience is best used to address our planet’s most pressing issues.

Marcus Eriksen, Co-founder and Director of Research, 5 Gyres Institute

Eriksen is the Director of Research and co-founder of the 5 Gyres Institute. His research has taken him 50,000 miles sailing the globe, including a couple of homemade rafting voyages down the Mississippi and across the North Pacific. His work on microplastics, including the co-discovery of microbeads in the Great Lakes and providing global/regional estimates of microplastic loads in our oceans, convey the ubiquity of degraded plastic and the actions needed to solve the problem.

Chelsea Rochman, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

Rochman is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. She has her Ph.D. in ecology with emphases on marine ecology, environmental chemistry and ecotoxicology. Rochman’s expertise is in the sources, sinks and ecological implications of plastics and their associated cocktail of chemical contaminants in marine and freshwater habitats. Her work has landed her in traditional and non-traditional waste sites, including two of our ocean’s “garbage patches” and dozens of waste water treatment plants around the country.

Doug Woodring, Co-founder, Ocean Recovery Alliance

Woodring is the Co-Founder of Ocean Recovery Alliance, a non-profit focused on bringing innovative solutions, technology, collaborations and policy together to impact positive improvements for the health of the ocean. Two of its global programs were launched at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative, including the Global Alert platform for reporting trash hotspots. Ocean Recovery Alliance is the first NGO in the world to be working with both United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank on plastic pollution and ocean issues. Woodring is also the founder of the Plasticity Forum and is recognized as both a UNEP Climate Hero and Google Earth Hero.

John Bradburn, Global Manager of Waste Reduction, General Motors

Bradburn is Manager of Global Waste Reduction at General Motors (GM). In this role, he leads the company’s landfill-free initiative, which has resulted in 152 GM operations around the world that reuse, recycle, and convert to energy all waste from daily operations. Bradburn is an expert in waste reduction and recycling, and is dubbed GM’s MacGyver for devising unconventional uses for everyday waste. He frequently mentors other companies pursuing zero-waste goals.

Immediately following our panel event, Aquarium supporters, community leaders, and plastic pollution experts from across the globe will come together at the Annual Watershed Dinner. This annual event celebrates the Aquarium’s Watershed Campaign accomplishments from the last year, and acknowledges the steadfast support of our members and donors.

Both events are open to the public, with ticket prices ranging from $30 – $85. Space is limited, so reservations are required. To purchase tickets please visit or call (843) 577-FISH (3474).

Fast Facts:

• Holland Lifelong Learning series finale, offered by the South Carolina Aquarium, occurs March 30 at 6 p.m.

• Event is the sixth, and final, presentation in this year’s series of adult educational events

• Evening focuses on the pressing issue of plastic pollution

• More information on the expert panelists can be found at:

• Series is made possible through a generous contribution from Mary and Mason Holland to the Aquarium’s Watershed Campaign

• For more information visit or call (843) 577-FISH (3474)

For all media inquiries, please contact Beth Nathan at (843) 478-7684 or [email protected]

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