Atlantic City, NJ – Ultra-endurance athlete Tom Jones is paddling from Key West, Florida to New York City on a standup paddleboard, and his quest is to not only create a new world record but also to raise public awareness about the great risks to the environment and the world’s oceans from improper and excessive use of plastic. Tom Jones journey began May 16th at the most southern point of Florida and will successfully end on schedule August 12th at Battery Park City, NY.
Tom will be making landfall in Atlantic City on Monday, August 9. The Atlantic County Utilities Authority wants to raise awareness locally and is helping to coordinate the event which will feature a beach clean up, environmental entertainment and an opportunity for people to learn about the issue and what they can do to help bring about change. Local groups who share the same concern about plastics in the marine environment will also be on hand to help educate the public.
“The global problem of plastics in the marine environment is evident here in Atlantic County, in our back bays and waterways,” said Richard S. Dovey, President of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority. “The world record being set by Tom Jones is a perfect opportunity to educate the public about how serious a problem this is and what can be done to bring about positive change. Here in Atlantic County, adopt-a-road programs and clean ups through the Atlantic County Clean Communities Program are some of the ways the ACUA is working to combat this issue. In addition to clean ups, there are choices each of us can make everyday, such as bringing our own bags to the store and using refillable water bottles, to lessen the amount of plastics.”
The beach cleanup will be held at 2:00 p.m. on August 9th in Atlantic City on the beach at North Carolina Avenue. All equipment will be provided and pre-registration is not necessary. The beach cleanup will be followed by a performance by Earthcapes at 3:00 p.m. Tom Jones will paddle onshore at 4:00 p.m. and will be speaking about his journey shortly after. Click here for a flyer with details on the event.
Setting records for a good cause is nothing new for this extreme athlete. In addition to his prize-fighting world championships, U.S. titles and current stand-up paddleboard record, Tom holds the world record for consecutive daily marathon runs. This unprecedented, cross- country ultra-endurance feat required 120 consecutive 26.2 mile daily runs from the sidewalk of his home in Huntington Beach, California, to the starting line of the New York City Marathon which he ran on the 121st day in under 4 hours. He is also the only man to complete the Endurance Island challenge of consecutively running, biking and paddling around the entire island of Oahu.
Wyndham Green is sponsoring Paddle 2010, partnering with Tom Jones and Plastic Free Ocean, a subsidiary of the Tom Jones Foundation, a federally registered 501(c)3 nonprofit incorporated in California, USA, in order to raise funds and public awareness about the harm plastic has on our environment and the resources needed to rid our oceans of these pollutants. Wyndham Green is Wyndham’s sustainability program that focuses on social responsibility and the environment as a part of the company's overall green strategy.
Plastic in the oceans is entirely caused by human action and human inaction. It has as much potential to do harm as the worst climate change scenario and is having greater immediate effects, yet it so far receives comparatively no attention, and very little private or government action or funding.
Some of the harmful effects of plastic in our oceans affect birds and marine species;
About 44 percent of all seabirds die due to eating floating plastic
Reproductive systems of over 250 marine species are affected by consuming plastics, including bags and bottles
These harmful effects can be mitigated if consumers reduce the use of, reuse and properly recycle plastics.
To help support awareness and research programs to reduce plastic in the environment, and to find ways to clean up the great existing threat of plastic breaking down in the world's oceans, please visit www.plasticfreeocean.org.
About Plastic Free Ocean (www.plasticfreeocean.org):
Plastic Free Ocean is a qualified 501(c)3 public charity which must receive the majority of its funding from personal contributions. The organization does, however, welcome sponsorships from corporations that meet its standards for environmental responsibility and good manufacturing processes, and that actively help to promote the Plastic Free Ocean cause to their customers.
Emerging research shows that plastics are the most serious environmental threat facing mankind. According to a 2008 environmental research study, about 44 percent of all seabirds accidently eat plastic, sometimes with fatal effects. There are 267 marine species negatively affected by plastic garbage either by accidental digestion or through growing toxic chemicals released in the ocean. These toxins only become more dangerous as contaminated species eat other contaminated species which eventually will lead to humans eating those species that are contaminated. Our ocean is in jeopardy of becoming a toxic “plastic soup.”
About Wyndham Worldwide Corporation
As one of the world's largest hospitality companies, Wyndham Worldwide offers individual consumers and business-to-business customers a broad suite of hospitality products and services across various accommodation alternatives and price ranges through its premier portfolio of world-renowned brands. Wyndham Hotel Group encompasses approximately 7,090 franchised hotels and approximately 593,300 hotel rooms worldwide. Wyndham Exchange & Rentals offers leisure travelers, including its 3.8 million members, access to over 65,000 vacation properties located in approximately 100 countries. Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops, markets and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing to owners through its network of over 155 vacation ownership resorts serving over 820,000 owners throughout North America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. Wyndham Worldwide, headquartered in Parsippany, N.J., employs approximately 25,000 employees globally.
For more information about Wyndham Worldwide, please visit the Company's web site at www.wyndhamworldwide.com.
About the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA)
The ACUA is responsible for providing wastewater and solid waste management services to the residents of Atlantic County and the South Jersey region. ACUA is recognized as an environmental leader and has developed and implemented a number of renewable energy projects, including the Jersey-Atlantic wind farm, a large solar installation and a landfill gas to energy project. More information about these renewable energy initiatives and others can be found at www.acua.com.