Biography of Captain Charles Moore


A third generation resident of Long Beach, California, Captain Charles Moore grew up in and on the Pacific Ocean. His father was an industrial chemist and avid sailor who took young Charles and his siblings sailing to remote destinations from Guadalupe Island to Hawaii. Charles attended the University of California at San Diego where he studied chemistry and Spanish.

Oceanographic Research Vessel Alguita and its Captain found their true calling after a 1997 yacht race to Hawaii. On his return voyage, Captain Moore veered from the usual sea route and saw an ocean he had never known. "Every time I came on deck to survey the horizon, I saw a soap bottle, bottle cap or a shard of plastic waste bobbing by. Here I was in the middle of the ocean and there was nowhere I could go to avoid the plastic." Ever since, Captain Moore has dedicated his time and resources to understanding and remediating the ocean's plastic load. Along with collaborators from the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project he developed protocols for monitoring marine and beach micro-plastics which are now used worldwide.

To date, Captain Moore has conducted ocean and coastal sampling for plastic fragments through more than 40,000 miles of the North Pacific Ocean, across 22 degrees of latitude and 70 degrees of longitude. His latest 10,000 mile voyage took him and his crew two-thirds of the way to Japan across the International Dateline. Captain Moore's work has been highlighted in numerous major media outlets, including ABC’s Nightline, Good Morning America, National Public Radio, Rolling Stone, and The Wall Street Journal.

In June 2012, Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, Canada, bestowed Captain Moore with a well earned Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa. His work has been published in multiple scientific journals and magazines. His first book, Plastic Ocean, was published in October 2011 and is soon to be published in Japanese and Italian.

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