Wednesday, May 23, 2007

About Us

The Algalita Marine Research Foundation presents the JUNK team:

Dr. Marcus Eriksen
(323) 395-1843
marcuseriksen at

Joel Paschal
(765) 430-7004
joel.paschal at

Anna Cummins

(310) 998-8616
annacummins at

Dr. Marcus Eriksen

The man with the plan. Since 2005, Marcus has dreamed of doing a modern day Kontiki-style voyage, on a raft built from plastic bottles. After returning from Algalita’s recent Gyre voyage, he felt that the time was now. In March, Marcus, Joel and Anna dove in full speed.

A Gulf War Veteran, Marcus believes strongly that he has felt a cause worth fighting for – sustainability.

Full bio here, including alter ego Commando Weather Man.

Joel Paschal

Just 6 months ago, Joel was minding his own business in Hawaii. For the past 3 months, he’s been living on a boat in Marina Del Rey, designing and building Junk, to set sail June 1st.

Resident filmmaker and self proclaimed "freelance errand boy". Joel previously worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where he spent 4 months at sea studying marine debris. He "just couldn't get enough of trash", and volunteered to help design, build, and sail Junk, all in 3 months time.

Joel will be documenting Junk for a future documentary.

Anna Cummins

Though aboard in spirit, her body will be very much on land. Anna will handle ground support - maintaining communications, press, and blog, while eagerly awaiting calls from Junk, and experimenting with reusable bags for distraction.

Anna joined AMRF as education adviser in 2007, after many years of fascination with the plastics issue. She will join Marcus for the next phase of Message in a Bottle later this fall - a West Coast outreach tour, from Vancouver to Mexico....on amphibious bikes.


Rick Hart said...

Hi Guys,
It was great to see you off on your journey. We met a bunch of really great people - all wishing you well. Thanks so much for bringing attention to this enormous problem. We must all be more aware of our impact on the planet as we go about our daily routines. An easy place to start may be to ask one simple question...
When you throw something away, just where is "away" anyway?
We'll be watching your progress on the web. Can't wait for the first photos and comments.

Thanks Again,
Rick Hart

Anonymous said...

Bon Voyage Guys,

Seeing you off on your journey reminded me of the Kon Tiki expedition I had read about so long ago.
Someday, people will remember the voyage of the Junk which helped raise the awareness and enact change before it was too late.

Rick Hart said...

Has anybody heard from the guys on the raft? Is this the correct place to be looking for current information?


Anna said...

Rick et al,
Thanks for checking in, and yes, the home page of this blog provides current up dates on the Junk guys....

Unknown said...

Aloha Oe Guys,

Chris Damitio here from Love what you guys are doing. Will you be coming to Oahu? Maybe we could set up some sort of a barbecue or party to celebrate your getting here and bring more awareness to this important issue. Let me know, I'd love to help out.


Anonymous said...

Hey Joel,

I am monitoring your progress and wish you godspeed. I went to Guadalupe island last year and can imagine all the stars you can see at night from the raft. Are yu catching any mahi mahi? I am awaiting your arrival here in Hawaii my brother.


Anonymous said...

Hi Anni, went to see youguys off at Long Beach June 1st and was so moved by your commitment that I came home and changed everything about reusing, recycling and being more actively aware of using resources at home and office. Your work and commitment is an inspiration. now we are sharing it with family and friends. Is there anything we can help you guys with? Blessings, Teresita Project-Peace on Earth

Unknown said...


It's great that you are doing this, it's such a huge issue. Hopefully, we'll run out of oil soon so plastic won't be a problem anymore.
I'm moving to the Big Island of Hawaii July 30th, and would be interested in helping organize media or an event for the JUNK trip. I'm leaving my job as the director of the Indiana Forest Alliance.


Anonymous said...

Hi all - thanks for a great effort - an inspiration to those of us who do inland stream cleanups & try to discourage littering! Tom Duckwall, Friends of the Deep River, Greensboro/Jamestown, NC

Anonymous said...

Dear Joel, I am getting great pleasure following your journey. When I was young I joined the USN.This was done primarily to avoid getting drafted. After I had enlisted I asked myself why I was stupid enough to join an outfit that would strand me out in the middle of an ocean on a giant floating pile of diesel fuel,munitions and steel. Lucky for me, I was never sent to sea. Keep your chin up , you are doing good work. Uncle Neil

Anonymous said...

Hi Joel-
Mike Crean here in Rochester (friend of your brother) sent me the link to your expedition. i love what you are doing- what great adventure with an even greater message!
i wanted to get in touch with you because i work at the Strong National Museum of Play and we are thinking of doing an event about recycling and reinventing trash. i would love to talk to you about it. i know you have quite a lot on your plate right now but if you get the chance please get in touch

-caity dewaele

Anonymous said...

By the looks of the GIS you guys are on your way. Congratulations! The Kon Tiki plastic mat has set sail! Everyday I look at a plastic bottle or a lighter I think of you guys and try and spread the word. I hope and I can be here when you arrive but I think I'll be in Australia. So if you miss Hawaii we can catch you! Hope you catch some flying fish!


Unknown said...

I work for a prominent aluminum water bottle company...what guys are doing is very cool!

Anonymous said...

This evening at Patagonia I participated in their vote your choice 'contest'. I voted for Surfrider (like I did 4 other times) and got to reading the boards on the other non-profits. Reading about Algalita I realized I should have voted for it instead. It is really amazing work you all are doing. I want to get involved! I'm signing up!

Jeri said...

You guys are real heros! The plastic pollution in the world's oceans is heart-breaking and a serious environmental issue - thanks for having the courage to make such an important statement (and voyage).

Jeff Wells said...

Saw a CNN piece on your efforts. A big shout out to you. Best of luck.


Jeff Wells
Hudson Ohio Recycling Committee

Anonymous said...

Hey guys,
Keep up the great work, we will follow your progress. Please update your site as much as possible! Good luck catching fish!

Identity Crisis said...

Lovely red toenails.

Anonymous said...

Joel - you ROCK!

Coulden't think of a better way to make a mark on the world and show everyone the pitfalls of pollution!
Keep it real out at sea and we'll clean up when you return!

_ Charlie Woods
Santa Rosa, CA

Unknown said...

I've been following this journey since before it started. Way to go! I have so much respect for what you are doing. I'd like to invite you to exhibit at our marine lab's open house on October 5, do you think you'll be in the SF Bay area? Reply to

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna and JUNK team,
I totally support your work, it is the modern Kon-Tiki! I want to write about JUNK for a Norwegian waste website, and wonder if I could use a photo of JUNK? Please reply to email
Kind regards, Nina K. Nilsen

Dionk said...

Hey guys,
Good move!
i will follow your progress.
n keep up the good work.

Emma said...

For some reason I can't quite put my finger on yet... this whole effort appeals on all sorts of levels.

Well done and good luck.


Anonymous said...

Please continue to try to contact Roz, tho' she only switches her phone on if she is expecting a call. Her number is preceded by 00.
Try calling 8.30am Pacific Time - not guaranteed!

Anonymous said...

Since you are near to Brocade with Roz Savage, I plotted both your positions on a google map.

Anonymous said...

Good luck your almost here. Do keep in touch and if you come to Maui give me a ring.

Richard Roshon

Anonymous said...

There is a great article at about the Junk Raft:

Anonymous said...

Now that you've completed that demonstration task, its time to actually do something about it.


Nico said...

Thanks for the inspiration. I found out about you guys when they put you on the news in Portland, OR, so the word is spreading day by day.

Anonymous said...

yap i sailed out of solomons.......a sea of garbage........i sailed hawaii to san diego......8 days of floating rubbish......4 fucks sake we gotta do something about this !!! good on u

Anonymous said...


I'm from the The Miss Rockaway Armada a salvaged eco-raft that made its way down the Mississippi in 2006 and 2007 and then I traveled with The Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea this summer.

I'm planning a raft voyage on the ocean next summer and I wondered if you did this journey without using a motor? I see no reference to motors. I think you could pull off an ecologically sound mission using a yanmar diesel that you ran biodiesel b100 or converted to veggie grease, or if you had a very powerful electric motor and means of collecting and storing power. Our motors are homemade, they're diesel car motors converted to spin longtail propellers.

Anyway did you just take the risk of not having a backup motor or did you have one that you used in case the wind died?