PLASTIC OCEAN: How a Sea Captain's Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans

By Captain Charles Moore with Cassandra Phillips

(Avery, October 27, 2011, Hardcover and Paperback; Avery, 2012 with added chapter)

In this fascinating chronicle, Captain Moore tells us about encountering the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” (The North Pacific Subtropical Gyre) in 1997 and returning in 1999 to collect samples for analysis on his custom built research vessel, ORV Alguita.  The results of the first study in 1999 were shocking...plastic debris trawled in his nets outweighed zooplankton, the ocean's food base, by a factor of six to one.


The book takes the reader through his initial voyage to the Gyre, his subsequent research expeditions prior to the 2014 Summer Expedition, and his fierce game-changing work to engage the world in recognizing and taking action on the plastic invasiveness crisis in our oceans. This research prompted a massive global reassessment of plastic's pervasive presence in the Gyre, raising profound questions regarding the implications of this new remote ‘habitat'.  His hard-won credibility and dogged, game-changing efforts to get the world to pay attention to a looming ocean crisis have earned him world-wide respect, igniting participation in The Plastic Pollution Conversation.  

captain moore on the plastic ocean book tour, 2011

captain moore on the plastic ocean book tour, 2011

As one of the main drivers of plastic pollution awareness, Captain Moore and Plastic Ocean remind us that an ocean free of plastic waste is of utmost importance to the survival of all species. 

Co-Author Cassandra Phillips, has worked as a newspaper reporter, a story editor for an independent film producer and as co-owner/operator of Orchid Nurseries in California and Hawaii.  She co-authored The Passion Paradox:  Patterns of Love and Power in Intimate Relationships. In 2006, she won grant funding from the USDA Small Business Innovation and Research Program to investigate recycled plastics as an orchid growth medium.  She has a B.A. in English from Pomona College and a Masters in Journalism from U.C. Berkeley. 

The book has been translated into Japanese, Korean and Italian.  It is available for purchase through Algalita Marine Research and Education . Personally autographed copies may also be purchased by contacting Captain Moore at