Today the 171 ft research vessel ‘’Ocean Starr’’ departed from San Francisco, marking the official start of the Mega Expedition. This will be the largest research expedition in history, in which around 30 vessels will cross the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in parallel, covering 3,500,000 km2 and collecting more plastic measurements in three weeks than have been collected in the past 40 years combined. Aboard the ‘’Ocean Starr’’ is our lead oceanographer accompanied by fifteen researchers and citizen scientists. Aided by the experienced vessel crew they will collect larger sized plastics for research purposes. This vessel will cross the Great Pacific Garbage Patch several times and will be deploying two manta trawls, two big 6 meter wide nets and a survey balloon. Serving maximum efficiency, these devices will all be deployed at the same time.