Environment

Ocean Cleanup Project moves into old naval station ahead of mid-year deployment

The Ocean Cleanup project plans to tow Cleanup System #1 out into the Pacific midway through 2018
The Ocean Cleanup project plans to tow Cleanup System #1 out into the Pacific midway through 2018
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The Ocean Cleanup Project has leased space at a naval station in the San Francisco Bay to assemble its trash-collecting system
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The Ocean Cleanup Project has leased space at a naval station in the San Francisco Bay to assemble its trash-collecting system
The Ocean Cleanup Project is edging closer toward its primary target, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
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The Ocean Cleanup Project is edging closer toward its primary target, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
The Ocean Cleanup project plans to tow Cleanup System #1 out into the Pacific midway through 2018
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The Ocean Cleanup project plans to tow Cleanup System #1 out into the Pacific midway through 2018
The Ocean Cleanup project plans to tow Cleanup System #1 out into the Pacific midway through 2018
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The Ocean Cleanup project plans to tow Cleanup System #1 out into the Pacific midway through 2018
The Ocean Cleanup Project is continuing to gather steam
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The Ocean Cleanup Project is continuing to gather steam
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The Ocean Cleanup Project is edging closer toward its primary target, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
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The Ocean Cleanup Project is edging closer toward its primary target, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Dreamt up by one-time aerospace engineering student Boyan Slat, the Ocean Cleanup Project first emerged as an ambitious design concept in 2013
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Dreamt up by one-time aerospace engineering student Boyan Slat, the Ocean Cleanup Project first emerged as an ambitious design concept in 2013
The Ocean Cleanup project plans to tow Cleanup System #1 out into the Pacific midway through 2018
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The Ocean Cleanup project plans to tow Cleanup System #1 out into the Pacific midway through 2018
The Ocean Cleanup Project is continuing to gather steam
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The Ocean Cleanup Project is continuing to gather steam

The Ocean Cleanup Project is continuing to zero in on its primary target, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, today announcing it has leased space at a former naval station to begin assembling its first giant trash-collecting booms. Its team will start putting them together at the San Francisco Bay site, which will double as a basecamp for a launch that has been years in the making.

Dreamt up by one-time aerospace engineering student Boyan Slat, the Ocean Cleanup Project first emerged as an ambitious design concept in 2013. The team has since gone on to raise millions in funding, carried out aerial surveys of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and put a prototype to the test in the Netherlands.

The system has undergone numerous redesigns since its inception, but the general idea is to let natural currents push plastic waste into passive, floating arms, which would be strategically located to gather maximum ocean trash. The Ocean Cleanup Project says marine life would be able to harmlessly pass beneath these floating arms.

While undoubtedly well-intentioned, Slat's project has attracted some criticism, with scientific opinion ranging from the perspective that this is a noble effort to clean up the ocean, to it likely to have a negligible impact at most, to it potentially harming ocean life by trapping creatures in its huge arms. For its part, the Ocean Cleanup Project has previously said it is committed to carrying out environmental impact studies at every stage of the roll-out.

In any case, the project is continuing to gather steam. Today Slat and his team announced that they have signed a lease agreement for a space at the former Alameda Naval Air Station in the San Francisco Bay, which it will use to start putting together the cleanup system next month. Once complete, the 600-meter-long (2,000 ft) contraption will be lowered into the bay so the team can carry out some final in-water tests. It then plans to tow Cleanup System #1 out into the Pacific midway through 2018.

"Next to Alameda's major historical military significance, it was here that the famous car chase scene in The Matrix Reloaded was filmed, and it was home to some of the best experiments of my favorite childhood TV show, MythBusters," says Slat. "We're honored to be allowed to use this site as the assembly yard for the world's first ocean cleanup system. Hopefully, we will make some history here as well."

Source: The Ocean Cleanup

8 comments
Vincent Bevort
Att least this young man DOES something where the s.c. Sientists just try to find some reasons why this will fail or will be ineffective. If only Slat manages to remove 1% of the debree this is a good start. Remember that we still dump loads of plastic in the ocean.Let those scientist dream up a method to prefent this from entering the ocean.
greg20
As I understand it the Japanese have developed a process that heats the plastic turning it back into oil.These units could be mass-produced, to run on the oil they produce..Such units could be deployed around the world.They could even be incorporated into large ships. They could process large quantities of sea water, strain out the plastic, convert it to oil and consume it
CharlieSeattle
In 1971 aboard the USS Cree, I was almost put on report for refusing to throw garbage into the ocean. The Navy's of the world own this mess.
CzechsterMarek
As one who has spent time on the water we have reached a tipping point with respect to human trash in the Oceans. People can debate all day long as to who or what created global warming but the Oceans filled with garbage is proof positive that the human race is set to kill off the ecosystem of our water ways. Time to act, now.
Craig Jennings
Someone doing something is to be applauded! Now feed a plastic-to-oil plant next to a steel mill :)
Nelson Hyde Chick
Too bad efforts like these are futile considering mankind is due to grow by billions more, it is like trying to bail out a ship with a teaspoon.
amazed W1
Two points. (a) booms like this could be installed at the mouths of the rivers in the "Far East" down which we are told 75% of all plastic waste reaches the sea. If the local processing mentioned here was used then the people who picked up their mess would also benefit from the direct and indirect energy possibilities. (b) there is still a chance that the UN will get off its collective ***** and drive for control of the population of humans in an effective way. We are what produces pollution, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd world, North, West or East alike. This elephant is now so large that it visibly splits the drawing room at the seams.
ljaques
amazed W1 is right. Look at the global map of plastics sources, and they're almost exclusively third world. Egad, look at Malaysia, who doesn't seem to process any garbage. https://www.theoceancleanup.com/sources/