The Rozalia Project for a clean ocean

Text and images by Brock Callen / the Rozalia Project:

On Friday, September 19, as part of a trip that was half ocean sprint and half environmental mission, adventurers Jeff Brock and Brock Callen kiteboarded 67 miles from Martha’s Vineyard to Block Island and back. The trip was the first in a series of kiteboarding missions and environmental presentations, launched with Rachael Miller of Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean, designed to inspire children to protect our fragile ocean waters.

In this inaugural effort, the sailors, known as Brock2, stopped on two separate beaches to collect plastic debris. Over the next few weeks, the sailors and Miller will visit Martha’s Vineyard schools to recount the trip, educate kids on the importance of a healthy ocean, and organize a local beach cleanup.

“The Rozalia project is so important in terms of educating kids and leading efforts to clean up our oceans,” says Callen. “They’re out working surface to seafloor, taking trash out of the ocean in our backyard, but they’re also doing an amazing job showing kids how they can be a part of the effort. It’s not just awareness. It’s passion, and we’re proud to be a part of that.”

The two sailors and their support team departed from Menemsha Beach on the west end of Martha’s Vineyard. Brock2 set off in 24 knots of wind and a five foot wind swell. Both riders were equipped with three boards for the mission, including a foil board supplied by Delta Hydrofoils, course boards and surfboards. They began on course boards but with the strong easterly current fighting the wind off Devils Bridge both riders opted for surfboards. They quickly raced across to Cuttyhunk, stopped for a cleanup, then headed west past the Buzzards Bay Tower. By the time they reached Point Judith the wind had lightened but the seas were still up, so they turned to Block Island.

Upon arrival at Block Island, Brock2 wrapped up their kites and completed the second beach cleanup of the day. “In a matter of ten minutes on the beach we picked up fifty pieces of plastic trash, enough to fill a locker on our support boat,” says Jeff. “The single-use plastic water bottle was the most common item. We found so many of those, along with balloons, bottle caps, and more.”

After the cleanup, the sailors jumped back in the Support Boat and returned to Martha’s Vineyard. In the end, the duo covered 67 miles over a period of 5 hours on kiteboards.

The kite-transit and cleanup is not the only element to this project. Brock2 along with Miller, Founder/ED of Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean, will deliver interactive, educational and inspiring programs to 350+ students in schools throughout Martha’s Vineyard and the Northeast. The presentations will incorporate geography, meteorology, marine science, marine ecology, conservation and more.

“This was a really successful pilot mission,” says Jeff. “But we plan to spread this message even further by organizing more missions, cleanups, and educational visits along both coasts. We hope that sharing our passion for the ocean, in partnership with Rozalia, will make a real difference.”

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About Rozalia Project: Rozalia Project is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to protect the ocean with three goals: a protected ocean, a thriving ocean and a clean ocean. During the summer, they operate from the 60’sailing research vessel, American Promise, throughout the Gulf of Maine and operate from dockside locations throughout North America for the remainder of the year. Rozalia Project believes we can clean the ocean and is addressing the problems facing our seas with a focus on urban and coastal waters, surface to seafloor and from multiple angles of restoration, prevention through education and solution-based research. For more information see: www.RozaliaProject.org

About Jeff Brock: Jeff is a professional sailor with over 200,000 ocean miles and a vast range of regatta wins in offshore, inshore, one-design, match racing and super yacht events. There isn’t much Jeff has not done in the sailing world including a Volvo Ocean Race in which he placed third onboard Amer Sports One. Exploring and Adventure are in his blood that started at a very young age with his father throughout Nova Scotia and the North Atlantic. His current passion is offshore kiteboarding passages where he has completed several unassisted solo passages. Jeff is the founder of Northbound Kite Mission and an avid environmentalist.

About Brock Callen: Brock is a professional sailor, ocean guide, Team Rider for Best Kiteboarding, as well as a US Coast Guard Licensed Master Captain. Brock’s resume includes wins in many Ocean Races including the 2007 Transpac Race to Hawaii and the 2002 Newport Bermuda Race. Brock has also been active in Speed Sailing for the last 3 years highlighted withfourth place in the 2012 North American Speed Sailing Championships (kitesurfing). Brock currently sails with Team Moneypenny in the TP52 Super Series as well as a number of other prominent events throughout the US, Europe and the Caribbean. When not traveling, Brock can usually be found outside or, most likely, on the ocean teaching his kids about enjoying and respecting the environment. www.brockcallen.com