A talk with the young, British ocean activist Emily Penn at boot Düsseldorf
„The true peace of God begins at any spot a thousand miles from the nearest land,“ wrote seafarer and writer Joseph Conrad in the 19th century. But in the 21st century, Emily Penn found something quite different right there: "Plastic! Plastic waste everywhere in the ocean. Thousands of nautical miles from the nearest land, the nearest human habitation - plastic waste. It was unbelievable!" Today it is estimated that there are more plastic particles in the ocean than fish, and these particles have long since passed into our food chain.
Public talks at boot Düsseldorf At boot Düsseldorf you can listen to Emily Penn and her thought-provoking talks every day.The young Brit, who is so committed to the sea, is enthusiastic about the show: "This is all about getting out and on the water!That is really great!" And, of course, she is particularly enthusiastic about the "Love your Ocean" presentation in Hall 4: "You can only protect something if you know and love it. So it is so important to explain the sea to people!"
Round the world on bio diesel Emily herself has been sailing since she was five years old, but the global problems of our seas - "we live on the planet Ocean, not planet Earth," she says - did not appear to her until after studying architecture, when she wanted to travel from England to Australia to do a job in an architectural office. "Sustainability has always been of interest to me, so flying was not for me - I am also fascinated by travelling slowly!" She went looking for a ship and came across the crew of the "Earthrace", a futuristic trimaran going round the world fueled with bio diesel. "On our trip from England to Australia and New Zealand, I met so many great and inspiring people and I came so directly into contact with the acute environmental problems that I did not just want to build houses!"
Getting involved with the oceans instead of architecture This meant that her career as an architect had ended before it started. Emily had instead gone on a wonderful voyage of discovery. She hired on as a helper for the Earthrace programme for another six months, then moved to Tonga for six months. "There is not even a word for waste in the language of the islanders," Emily explains. She lived in a large family, organized the tidying up of beaches and taught at a school. "Today the islands are suffocating in plastic waste."
Getting people in touch with the oceans Following her Tonga mission, she needed new input for her idea to organize workshops, lectures, and events, and so she moved on to California (by cargo ship, of course), where many organizations and institutions are located dealing with the issue of marine protection. There she helped creating the "Pangea Exploration". This organization is about discovering and exploring the oceans on a sailing yacht (provided by a business man with a sense for the sensible) with many interested people on board.
For a new generation of decision makers The goal of this organization, whose director Emily was for seven years, is to strengthen life in the ocean by researching and preserving it, and by letting people learn about it. A further aim is to create a new generation of decision-makers who deal with the topic of marine protection, marine biology and its communication. After all, Pangaea Expediton would like to allow as many people as possible the personal access to, the personal experience of the ocean.
Tireless ambassador of the seas Emily herself is still working with Pangea, and she is also organizing women's groups on board the expedition yacht: "The main focus is on female health and how it is affected by damages to the ocean. A fascinating topic," she says. Above all, Emily is tireless as an ambassador of the seas, organizing workshops and events and holding world-wide lectures all over the world, just like on a daily basis at the boot Düsseldorf.