Jonathan Waterman

Situational Awareness

Tonight, anchored along the western shore of Lanai Island, we’re reveling in the briny land smell beneath volcanic seamounts and mountain goat habitat.  Our scientific research is complete and all that remains is a final cleaning of the ship, ...

Of Politics and Plastics

As we sail closer to port, mahi mahi fish have been hitting our lures and tropicbirds circle our masts.   We have not seen land for over a month but as I write these words, we’ve just crossed the EEZ (...

An Ever Shifting Sea

For the last few days, fully inured to life-a-tilt and the complex movements of the sea, we have plied south and southwest winds to continue sailing west.  We’re 1,500 miles and 25 days out from California, with 900 miles and 12 days left ...

Ocean Plastic’s Mystery Ending

As we continue sailing west, we have more questions than answers about our plastic quarry.  We’re now more than halfway to Hawaii, with California 1,200 miles and 17 days behind us. While we’ve conducted more than 40 net deployments and counted ...

Our Plastic Quarry and the Nets We Carry

Three days and almost 400 miles west of California, the rail is now free of slumped crew feeding the fish.  From my aft berth, I can hear the deck being scrubbed above. Even though we’ve passed beyond the shallow edge ...

2012 Mission to the North Pacific Plastic Gyre

In 1988, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers measuring pollution in the Sea of Japan predicted that plastic contamination would show up in much greater quantities in the Pacific Ocean.  Researchers had already confirmed the presence of a new, giant soup ...

Life and Death on the Colorado River

“Running Dry” author Jonathan Waterman talks about his struggle with the Colorado River and his mother’s death. By Jonathan Waterman This post is part of a special National Geographic news series on global water issues. Photograph of Pete McBride ...

Restoring floods to “America’s Nile”

The 1,450-mile Colorado River is in bad shape. But there is a potential solution, at least in the Grand Canyon: regular floods. This post is part of a special National Geographic news series on global water issues.  By Jonathan Waterman ...

The Colorado River IS Running Dry

By Jonathan Waterman During a recent discussion of water at the Aspen Institute’s Environment Forum In Colorado, former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt told a packed house: “The American Southwest is not one of those regions where there ...