12/09/18

The idea started with Candy and Mathilde, two 28-year-old friends from Normandy who not only live by the Seine, they live through it. Lifelong protectors of the environment that has given them so much joy and livelihood, these adventurers founded OdySeine; a project designed to raise public awareness and identify aquatic waste along the banks of the Seine while enjoying the sport of canoeing!

CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE DETAILS OF YOUR PROJECT?

Our project is to descend the Seine, from the Source-Seine to Le Havre by bike and canoe for 3 weeks, departing on September 20th. We will travel the 777 km stretch of river collecting waste through scientific measures to get an accurate count and analysis. We will also geo-locate waste accumulation areas on the banks for future clean-up operations. In addition to collection, tracking and analysis, we plan to meet with three different schools of students and residents along the way to sensitize them to the waste issue along the river.






WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TAKE ACTION ON THIS ISSUE?

We have a special attachment to the Seine since we grew up in Rouen and Oissel. We met and studied in Le Havre, and now we live in Paris.


For a while we were thinking about a large-scale project focused on the protection and preservation of the ocean. But it was a conversation that Candy had with her grandmother, who told her how she remembers a time when you could swim in the Seine, which is no longer the case today, that helped us realize the need for change at the local level. Knowing that the pollution of the Seine will end up making its way to the ocean, the OdySeine project was born to clean the river and defend our oceans.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR CONNECTION WITH SURFRIDER?

We are very attached to the ocean as we are both diving enthusiasts. We have been involved with Surfrider since before launching OdySeine, notably through an Ocean Initiative last spring at La Villette organized by the Paris office. We share common values with Surfrider and therefore it feels natural to collaborate with their volunteer chapters to support this project.


We have planned a waste collection with Surfrider Europe's Paris Chapter along the Canal Saint Martin on September 30th, and when we arrive in Le Havre on October 10th, we will be at Fort de Tourneville for an awareness event with the Seine Maritime Chapter and other partnering organizations. We will take this opportunity to debrief our 3 weeks of adventure!





Surfrider Paris and OdySeine at Marche for the climate



WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEND A MESSAGE TO THE COMMUNITY?

We would love for you to come see us on our various stages along the Seine! Follow us on social media (Facebook and Instagram) to stay updated on our daily adventures on the river, and on the progress of the project. For those who would like to go further in their support, we have a crowdfunding campaign underway to finance the production and distribution of an OdySeine video. Our goal for this video is to share the experience and raise awareness to a wider audience.


Surfrider Europe supports Candy and Mathilde, and their innovative project OdySeine which, like Surfrider, aims to educate citizens about the problem of aquatic pollution and scientifically analyze the presence of wastes to better understand their origins. We wish them bon voyage and a successful adventure!

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The passion for the oceans, the coastline and the pleasures animate everyone who supports Surfrider and guides the organization's action.

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