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The Ocean Cleanup

July 7th, 2014

Check out this really interesting Crowd Funding project that is trying to tackle the enormous problem of plastics in our oceans. Here is a some information and a short video about the project from their Crowd Funding page. More details and how you can help can be found here.

The Reality
Millions of tons of plastic are polluting our oceans, killing at least one million seabirds and one hundred thousand marine mammals each year. Impacting human health and causing billions of dollars of economic damage.

We should of course close the tap, preventing any more plastic entering the oceans in the first phase. But this is not a solution to the plastics trapped and persisting in the centre of the oceans. However, a clean-up of our oceans has always been deemed impossible, costing billions of dollars and thousands of years.

On June 3rd 2014, Boyan and his team of 70 experts proved the concept feasible. But he now needs your help, to turn it into reality

The idea
When Boyan was 16 years old he went diving and saw more plastic bags than fish in the ocean. He wondered why there was no solution to clean things up. He wondered; why move through the oceans, if the oceans can move through you? Instead of wasting energy by going after the plastics, you could simply wait for the plastic to come to you. An array of floating barriers would first catch and concentrate the plastic, enabling a platform to efficiently extract this afterwards. The ocean current would pass underneath the barriers, taking all neutrally buoyant sea life with it, preventing by-catch.

Phase I: Feasibility Study
After the concept went viral in 2013, Boyan then founded The Ocean Cleanup foundation, and assembled a team that grew to about 100 people, with whom he started performing an extensive feasibility study.

The conclusion
On the 3rd of June 2014, The Ocean Cleanup presented the results of our extensive research. The 530-page feasibility study confirmed that the concept is indeed likely a feasible and viable method to remove almost half the plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Phase II: The Pilot Phase
To reduce the uncertainties, to optimize the design and to prepare for the actual implementation, The Ocean Cleanup now commences on the second phase of the project: the pilot phase.

Through a series of up-scaled tests, The Ocean Cleanup will work towards a large-scale and fully operational pilot in 3-4 years’ time. The series of tests will generate new data in a range of structural and physical topics. Furthermore, these up-scaling tests will serve as a platform for the engineering and oceanographic research groups, enabling them to immediately implement newly developed technology or testing equipment in a real-life environment.

The Strategy
To keep costs as low as possible, The Ocean Cleanup acts as a mission control centre in Phase II, managing the research, funding and communication. As Boyan Slat puts it, “It wouldn’t be very cost-efficient to try to build our own engineering company and oceanographic institute. Instead, we seek collaborations with existing parties, enabling us to focus on the bigger picture”.

We aim to raise two million USD in 100 days. It will enable us to execute more pilot tests, study the durability of the system, developing and deploying permanent sampling equipment in the gyre, optimize our vertical distribution research and to further develop and build our team.

This is where we need your support.
Two million US dollars will enable us to go from the feasibility phase to the implementation phase. We are looking for 322.062 people who are willing to support us with at least $6.21.

So join us in taking the next crucial steps towards cleaning our oceans.

One Response to “The Ocean Cleanup”

  1. dear you, this is so poitive. once again i observe how compassionate about the planet you are and i thank you and the teams of good people you work with.

    i only discovered you recenly via a friend.

    forgive me if i am being rather stupid but i cant see where or how to make a donation? i am not on face book nor want to be.

    also lease advise me of any ongoing clean up events on going or one off in the uk that i could get involved with.

    Many thanks for all you do love and light. ciara alias finvarafaerie xx

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