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  • Marine scientist and co-founder of the 5 Gyres Institute studying plastic pollution in the world's oceans.

  • Co-founder of Leap Lab, a center for art, science and self-reliance.

  • Veteran and author

Dr. Marcus Eriksen
Phone: 323.395.1843


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Marcus Eriksen lectures on marine conservation, especially the impact of plastics on the world's oceans, breaking down the complexity of stakeholder objectives and identifying common ground and actionable solutions. He's led more than 20 expeditions through the 5 Gyres Institute exploring and researching the world's oceans.

As the co-founder of LEAP LAB, he also lectures on biophilia, and the role of art, science and self-reliance to achieve urban resilience.  

If you are interested in inviting Marcus to speak to your organization or at an event, please inquire below. 


In 2008, two sailors drifted across the N. Pacific to Hawaii on a raft made from 15,000 plastic bottles tied in old fishing nets stuffed under a Cessna 310 Aircraft.  They called it JUNK, and the purpose of the 88 day, 2600 mile voyage was to build awareness and help build a movement to save our seas from plastic pollution. 

A global grassroots movement has now emerged and is demanding the same things: corporate responsibility for the endgame of what they make.  Communities around the world are awash in trash, and are tired of being blamed for it, or expected to pay for cleanup.  Zero waste communities are growing around the world, leading the way for a sustainable future.


But there's a great divide between how industry sees the future and what the movement demands.  This book is not only a story of adventure, but a vision of how we bridge that divide.  It's a story about how we save our seas, and ourselves. 

A classic American story of a young man’s return from war and his search for peace—while rafting the entire length of the Mississippi River.

One August day, veteran Marcus Eriksen set off on his journey on a homemade raft kept afloat by 232 empty soda bottles and recycled junk. Though he had never made such a trip before—2,000 miles from Lake Itasca, Minnesota, past his childhood home near New Orleans, to the Gulf of Mexico—he had dreamed of doing it over a decade earlier, while serving amid sandstorms and oil fires in Kuwait as a marine in the Gulf War.


Like Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Eriksen takes us on an extraordinary journey; home from war, chaos, and sorrow, down the mighty Mississippi. . . . A beautiful story of healing, hope, faith, and renewal. Eriksen searches to find meaning in all that has been lost and all that has been wasted.

—Ron Kovic, author of Born on the Fourth of July

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