THE OCEAN CLEANUP PROJECT
Guys, this is huge. We have the potential to clean up one of the biggest messes humanity has made: The plastic in the ocean.
Through littering and other such forms of carelessness, we have introduced millions of tons of plastic into the oceans. This plastic is trapped in the five major currents running through the world’s major oceans, called gyres. There is currently six times more plastic in the water than zooplankton, which is one of the most basic elements of the worldwide food chain. Plastic in the oceans leads to ecological, economical, and health issues for everyone, including people.
Really, the solution is to cut the problem off at its source and find ways to stop introducing plastic and other garbage into the oceans. But, as for all the trash that is already there, a 19-year-old man named Boyan Slat has come up with an idea: Get the oceans to clean themselves. This idea has three basic principles:
1) Passive collection
- “Why move through the oceans, if the oceans can move through you? Attaching an array of floating barriers and platforms to the sea bed enables us to concentrate the plastic before extracting it from the ocean —a collection process 100% driven by the natural winds and currents.”
2) Capturing plastics, not sea life
- "Instead of nets, we make use of solid floating barriers, making entanglement of wildlife impossible. Virtually all of the current flows underneath these booms, taking away all (neutrally buoyant) organisms, and preventing by-catch, while the lighter-than-water plastic collects in front of the floating barrier."
3) Highly scalable
- "The scalable array of moorings and booms is designed for large-magnitude deployment, covering millions of square kilometers.
- Thanks to its projected high capture and field efficiency, a single gyre can be covered in just 5 years (or longer, depending on the chosen deployment strategy).”
IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?
Great news: Yes! In June of 2014, Slat and his team of 100 professionals and volunteers announced that this can happen. You can download the full report here, or the summary here. You can also watch Slat’s recent talk to find out more about how the project really works right here.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Slat and his team are currently running a crowdsourcing campaign. They need to raise $2 million US dollars to move from the feasibility phase to the implementation phase. That sounds daunting, but really, if 322 people donating just over $6 each, the money will be raised and we can start cleaning up our mistakes and making the world better for the future. As of the 27th of June, they have raised $878,000+ and have 77 days to go. Please donate if you can by clicking here or on the bolded link above, or reblog this and share it anywhere and everywhere you can to raise awareness!
You can also contact Slat and his team and apply to work with them by clicking here. If you have more questions, please visit the website or check the FAQ.
We raised enough money for solar roads, now let’s save the ocean.