Have Some Eco-Heroism With Your Climbing Adventure

Eric Fizer sticks the crux move of a sport route on Koh Lao Liang, an island in Andaman Sea and part of the Petra Archipelago in Thailand's Trang province. (Photo by Matt Cline)

By Dylan Jones, ASC Microplastics Adventurer

The morning sun dances off the glassy ripples lapping against my kayak. I dip a sampling bottle under the crystalline surface one, two, three times, the displaced bubbles rising as I rinse it with seawater. I gaze at the vibrant reef meters below the turquoise waters of Thailand’s Andaman Sea.

Tightening the foil-lined cap, I look around. A hundred yards to the west, a white-sand beach is framed by the towering limestone cliffs of Koh Lao Liang Nong, or “little brother island.” Across the blue expanse to the east, the 3,500-foot peaks of the Nakhon Si Thammarat Range rise above the coast.

Eric Fizer sticks the crux move of a sport route on Koh Lao Liang Nong (Little Brother Island). Sitting in the Andaman Sea, the island is part of the Petra Archipelago in Thailand’s Trang Province. (Photo by Matt Cline)

Our time on the Lao Liang Islands wrapped up a nine-week climbing trip through Southeast Asia, where I added purpose to my trip by collecting water samples for the Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation Microplastics Project, an ongoing study to catalogue the extent of plastic pollution in the planet’s water supply. While collecting data for the ASC Pika Project in the U.S., I discovered the importance of adventure science and the joy it brings to my time outside. When I decided to join seven friends on this climbing pilgrimage, I knew my first steps overseas would be taken in the name of conservation.

Staggering Amount of Refuse

When we landed in Bangkok on January 5, I was overwhelmed. Population eight million, the Thai capital is both revered and despised for its indulgent street life and stifling pollution. One day perusing the markets was enough to see the staggering amount of refuse overflowing the streets into the canals—a sight —> Read More