Kat goes on an eXXpedition to fight plastics

My name is Kat and I am an environmental scientist in Perth, Western Australia. I am an ocean paddler, swimmer, scuba diver and marine scientist who has been passionate about marine conservation from an early age. Travelling is my other great love, and I’ve been exposed to many fragile and remote marine environments over the years but have never seen one untouched by the impacts of ocean plastics and waste.

● 8 million tonnes of plastic waste find their way into the ocean each year (source )
● Only 9% of plastic is recycled globally (more info here )
● We use over one million plastic bags every minute worldwide (see a TERRIFYING live count of the plastic bags used worldwide here )
● By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (source )


The project

I’m lucky enough to have been selected as part of a crew to participate in eXXpedition Round-The-World 2019-2021 , an all-female sailing trip with a focus on highlighting the devastating impact single-use plastic and toxics from land-based activities are having on our planet’s oceans, ecosystems and on human health. Previous research carried out by eXXpedition has highlighted the endemic nature of microplastics within our ocean environments globally and the increasing potential impact they have on human health.

We’ll be supporting solutions-based science by contributing to world class scientific studies (partnered with the Universities of Plymouth and Georgia) that are urgently needed to inform up-stream solutions and close the loop on plastic waste on land. We’ll also be using our platform to inform and educate so that people can better understand the real problem of micro-plastics and use that to shape actions and solutions – both in the communities we sail between and back at home.

What I’m doing and why

I’ll be sailing from the Cook Islands to Tonga in April 2020. I lived in the Cook Islands for two years, and the impact that ocean plastics and waste has had on beautiful remote islands like that is forever seared in my mind. I’ll be using my scientific and communications skills and experience to collect information and samples while at sea and in the coastal communities we’ll visit, and then to share stories and information on my return. This will directly contribute to wider education of the problem we are facing, and what we as individuals can do to help wherever we are in the world.

I will be posting updates, pictures and information on Instagram  and here on the fundraising page; in the lead-up to and after the voyage to share what we have learned and done. I’d also love the opportunity to speak with schools, community groups and at workplaces; so if any of you are interested please get in touch.

Why I need your help

To make the expedition possible, as crew members we have committed to volunteering our time and contributing to the costs of the voyage. This money goes towards the core costs of logistics, equipment, and vessel maintenance – a round-the-world voyage is a huge project. I’m saving hard to raise my share, but any donations to help support this cause would be gratefully received. Any additional funds raised over the cost of my trip will be passed to eXXpedition to help us reach more people and spread the message on plastic pollution and toxics in our seas.

My way of saying thanks

$50 = a postcard from the South Pacific! (Please message me your postal address)

$100 = a personalised photo and thank-you message from the South Pacific

$200 = a souvenir from the voyage

If you are seeking to donate more, make a non-monetary donation, or are donating on behalf of an organisation, please contact me directly so that I can help you get the most benefit from your donation – e.g. through a talk/presentation, a guest article/post in your blog or newsletter, use/display of your equipment, etc.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story, and for your support!

Donations ()

  • Rean Gilbert  
    • $100 
    • 4 d
  • Lolly & Pepper Furball 
    • $200 
    • 15 d
  • Vincent Morgan 
    • $50 
    • 16 d
  • Sophie Campagna 
    • $50 
    • 16 d
  • Tony Ross 
    • $200 
    • 1 mo
See all


Katherine Ross 
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