Project Report:
Catalyzing market-based solutions for Henderson Island’s “tragic plastics” to stop marine litter at the “root cause”
- Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.


The goals of this grant are as follows:
1. Provide initial support for a 2020 return site visit to Henderson Island to complete work that was not accomplished in 2019.
2. Support efforts related to collaborations around “circular economy” solutions for what do to with the plastic waste from Henderson Island.
3. Advance public speaking engagements related to Henderson Island.


Howell Conservation Fund is excited to provide this Q4 2020 project status report update to Alex C. Walker Foundation related to the three goals of this project. 1). 2020 return to Henderson Island site visit 2). Ongoing collaborations with project partners around solving at the “root cause” of plastic pollution, and 3). Public speaking engagements.

2020 return to Henderson Island:
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 expedition back to Henderson Island was put on hold as all passenger services to Pitcairn Island were suspended until March 2021. New plans for the return expedition to Henderson Island will be developed after the world recovers from this global pandemic, and the Pitcairn Islands reopen to visitors. Howell Conservation Fund is staying in close contact with Alex C. Walker Foundation about updates so we can collaboratively plan the return trip once the pandemic is under control, and extended duration air and ship travel is once again feasible.

Collaborations with project partners:
Howell Conservation Fund has continued to build our relationship with the Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration (CRDC), the group we found in 2019 to process the plastics we collected on Henderson Island. CRDC’s technology takes plastic and up-cycles it into an environmentally benign synthetic coarse sand aggregate called RESIN8. We have entered into a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CRDC, creating a strategic alliance. Working with CRDC, we are developing a sub-brand of RESIN8 made out of plastics collected from unique ecological environments. These revolutionary RESIN8 blocks demonstrate performance that meets or exceeds natural aggregate blocks in the areas of strength, weight, and fire/thermal resistance.

Public speaking engagements:
Q1 – Q3 2020 conferences/events where Howell Conservation Fund was scheduled to speak about Henderson Island were cancelled or postponed. However, Howell Conservation Fund will be presenting at several events in Q4 2020, including – 1). Park Pride’s virtual event, where we will be part of the presentation “Litter Hotspots – From Our Atlanta Parks to the World’s Most Plastic Polluted Beach” and 2). Exponent Philanthropy, where we will be hosting a discussion about how to apply venture philanthropy to environmental issues, using the Henderson Island expedition as a key example.

Other noteworthy news related to the Henderson Island expedition:
-Representing the entire expedition team, Robin Shackell, 2019 expedition leader and Deputy Governor of the Pitcairn Islands, was awarded the “British Empire Medal for services to the environment” as a result of the Henderson Island expedition.
-Scientific publication from our science team “Records of Brown Booby Sula leucogaster in the Pitcairn Islands with additional observations during 2015–19” published in March 2020 (
-Updated “Google Streetviews” from the expedition were posted to Google, including East Beach post clean up: and North Beach walk in:
-Mandy Barker, our plastic pollution artist, published three new streams of work from the Henderson Island expedition, LUNASEA, Shelf-life and Crown 2.5l. Details at


#1: investigate the causes of economic imbalances – the project focuses on the economic imbalance of “externalities” from plastic production and unaccounted for impacts on ecosystem services in the oceans.

#4: explore and develop market-based solutions – the project is heavily focused on market-based solutions for plastics, including ways that ocean plastic pollution cleanups can become self-sustaining, rather than relying on philanthropic dollars to cover the “externalities” of pollution cleanup.


Project activities will take place in the U.S. and internationally (in the Pitcairn Islands, a U.K. overseas territory) and will work to be a pilot study/demonstration related to solutions for ocean plastic pollution.

Information Dissemination

Regular progress updates will be provided through the Walker Foundation website, providing details about progress against all four of the project goals: 1). 2020 return to Henderson Island site visit 2). Ongoing collaborations with project partners around solving at the “root cause” of plastic pollution, and 3). Public speaking engagements.

Project Link

Amount Approved
$15,000.00 on 12/9/2019 (Check sent: 12/17/2019)

Henderson Island summer 2019

1224 Virginia Ct NE
Atlanta, GA 30306



Brett Howell
Executive Director, Howell Conservation Fund, Inc.

Posted 12/1/2019 1:10 PM
Updated   10/30/2020 9:45 AM

  • Nonprofit

Henderson Island summer 2019
Henderson Island beach, summer 2019

  © 2021 Alex C. Walker Foundation       Search   Sign In