Marine Debris Resources

 

Marine Debris office of Response and Restoration has great resources on learning about debris!

Here is a list of some frequently asked questions (and links to answers):

Visit their website for more educational resources!

Marine Debris Tracker

 

(ABOVE: Marine Debris Tracker)

The Mobile App Marine Debris Tracker originated in 2010 from a joint partnership of the NOAA Marine Debris Program and the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative (SEA-MDI), located within the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia.

A primary goal of SEA-MDI was to use innovative technologies and unique expertise to add culturally relevant outreach tools and information to the NOAA Marine Debris Program.

Marine Debris Tracker is a product of this initiative. Their goal is to spread awareness of marine debris, as well as serve as an easy to use and simple tool for marine debris data collection. In 2015, funding from 11th Hour Racing (A Program of The Schmidt Family Foundation) is allowed them to expand the tracker as a culturally relevant outreach and data collection tool for the sailing community.

Check out Marine Debris online for more information and to start geotagging litter!

CEF FFT: This could be a very useful tool for cleanup crews to use to arrange events knowing ahead of time there is something to clean.

4Ocean

4Ocean is an organization of teams that help clean the ocean and beaches around the world. You can donate to their cause by purchasing a bracelet and for each their ocean and coastal teams will collect a pound of trash. So far they have already collected over 50,ooolbs worldwide!

They explain how beach cleanups are an effective way to prevent trash from entering the ocean and that offshore cleanups are an effective way to remove trash that has already entered the ocean.

To donate, find out more info and how to become a 4Ocean ambassador visit their webpage at 4Ocean.com

The Next Phase

Today at 8:00pm CET (11:00am PST) Boyan Slat just announced the next phase of development for his organization “The Ocean Cleanup”.

“Why go after the plastic, if the plastic can come to you?” was Slat’s original rhetorical motto that summed up their initial netting system to clean the gyres of plastic waste.

For the next phase, he shared a new motto: “To catch the plastic, act like the plastic.”

Unlike the original design which involved a larger netting system that required them to anchor the nets to the ocean bed some 4 kilometers down with mixed subterranean stability (this proved to be the most challenging step as well), their new design involves more modular fleet of nets which are anchored in mid-ocean drift. They were able to test the force and flow of water at different depths and found that the netting system only needed to be drastically slowed from drift, not completely halted.  For this reason, weights that would slow the netting down to a rate that plastic still could be collected would be optimal for both the efficiency of implementation as well as the gradual development of a fleet of nets based on a budgetary standpoint.

Oddly enough, this drift technology seems to work even more in our favor than we expected. Slat stated that we need to act like plastic. By this he means that the technology to clean the plastic should be akin to the behavior of the plastic itself in the ocean.  He also explains how after the fleet of nets is set up, the netting system should be able to not only gather the plastic but also over time the drifting nets themselves will be gradually gathered together by the current.

For more information visit their website The Ocean Cleanup!

 

Rozalia Project

“Our mission is to protect the ocean.” (Rozalia Project)

Rozalia Project has an amazing collection of efforts being brought together to tackle pollution.

One cool tool they use for volunteer cleanups is their Rozalia Project Marine Debris Data Card to keep tabs on what trash has been collected.

Here is an excerpt from Rozalia Project’s mission statement:

Prevention: stopping trash getting into the water, and remediation: removing trash from the water and shores before it breaks down into micro size pieces, are the cornerstones of Rozalia Project’s belief that we can clean our oceans.
Here are the strategies and solutions that Rozalia Project is currently using to combat the problem of ocean pollution.
1) INNOVATION
Rozalia Project is using existing technologies in new ways and developing new technologies to clean our oceans from the surface to the seafloor:
Baleen Basker – low bycatch marine debris net
Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Sailing Research Vessel (American Promise)
High Resolution Ocean Trash Forecasting
Rozalia Project Ocean Pollution Fellowship Program (Guest Scientists berths available on every 2014 research expedition)
Rozalia Project Undergraduate Intern Program
2) EDUCATION
Rozalia Project has educated 47,000+ people of all ages about the effects and solutions to ocean trash through our in person education programs and our Expedition Reports/ virtual crew member programs over the last 4 years.
3) CLEANUP
Rozalia Project, from inception to present, has removed 565,000+ pieces of ocean trash from the waters and shorelines of North America by leading a variety of our own and volunteer cleanups with the following featured partnerships and programs.
4) SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
We need knowledge before we can act, thus Rozalia Project has implemented several scientific research projects to develop data from which we can produce solutions.
5) LAND BASED SOLUTIONS
Rozalia Project is promoting several physical land based solutions to reduce the land to sea transport of trash.
For more information and videos visit their website Rozalia Project.

The Ocean Clean Up Next Phase

The next phase for Boyan Slat (CEO and Founder) and his team at The Ocean Cleanup is getting near.

On Thursday May 11th, The Ocean Cleanup will be sharing a very special announcement with the world. Discover what they’ve been working on for the past two years, and what will be happening next. The unveiling event will take place at the spectacular “Werkspoorkathedraal” in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and will be streamed LIVE on their webpage at 8.00pm CET / 2.00pm EST.

Check out source The Ocean Clean Up for more info and an unveiling teaser video of what’s to come!

Plastic-eating Caterpillar

Yet again, we find ourselves turning back to “mother-nature” for answers with regards to environmental restoration.

Announced on BBC news only days ago, we’ve now discovered a caterpillar that munches on plastic bags could hold the key to tackling plastic pollution, scientists say.

Researchers at Cambridge University have discovered that the larvae of the moth, which eats wax in bee hives, can also degrade plastic.

Experiments show the insect can break down the chemical bonds of plastic in a similar way to digesting beeswax.

Each year, about 80 million tonnes of the plastic polyethylene are produced around the world.

The plastic is used to make shopping bags and food packaging, among other things, but it can take hundreds of years to decompose completely.

However, caterpillars of the moth (Galleria mellonella) can make holes in a plastic bag in under an hour.

Dr Paolo Bombelli is a biochemist at the University of Cambridge and one of the researchers on the study.

“The caterpillar will be the starting point,” he told BBC News.

“We need to understand the details under which this process operates.

“We hope to provide the technical solution for minimizing the problem of plastic waste.”

Visit the source link on BBC News for more information!

A Sponge for Oil Spills

A group of researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory have developed a sponge that will collect oil from bodies of water, which could improve how harbors and ports are cleaned, as well as how oil spills are managed.

“The Oleo Sponge offers a set of possibilities that, as far as we know, are unprecedented,” said co-inventor Seth Darling, a scientist with Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials and a fellow of the University of Chicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering.

At tests at a giant seawater tank in New Jersey called Ohmsett, the National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility, the Oleo Sponge successfully collected diesel and crude oil from both below and on the water surface.

“The material is extremely sturdy. We’ve run dozens to hundreds of tests, wringing it out each time, and we have yet to see it break down at all,” according to Darling.

The team is actively looking to commercialize the material; those interested in licensing the technology or collaborating with the laboratory on further development may contact partners@anl.gov.

For more info and a video demonstration visit Argonne’s website here!

Reintroducing ByFusion

Consider the empowering solutions to pollution, waste management and local community development made possible by the ByFusion machine. Their goal is to put all plastic waste to work cost effectively, maximizing efforts of people cleaning by creating building blocks called RePlast. Here is an overview:

PLASTIC-AGNOSTIC: We do not discriminate against any type of plastic. We take it all.

 STREAMLINED PROCESSING: No sorting or pre-washing required. Just shovel in the plastic and the transformation process begins.

100% MODULAR: Self-contained and fully transportable. Runs on gas or electric to meet varying conditions.

ECO-FRIENDLY DESIGN: Nearly 100% carbon neutral, non-toxic manufacturing process.

CUSTOMIZABLE BYPRODUCT: Able to control density and shape of the product, called RePlast. Currently configured to manufacture common cinder block sized material.

FIT FOR PURPOSE: RePlast was developed to be used in a wide variety of applications from walling to roadway barriers. In most cases, we are able to customize RePlast to meet the needs of the job.
Check out their website http://www.byfusion.com for more info!

Mother Earth Project

The Mother Earth Project, MEP, is focused on celebrating the small and large tasks each of us take to recycle, save energy, minimize pollution, and reduce our carbon footprint. Their hope is by creating a greater collective awareness, we will accelerate the activities necessary to save the environment, and preserve the planet for future generations.

MEP has created a monumental 15 foot-tall sculpture with the likeness of the human face. The vision behind this sculpture was to conceive of a way to incentivize countries to participate in stopping and reversing climate change, and thus preserve the environment. Each participating country places a Mother Earth sculpture in their capital city, showing their commitment to helping the environment and as a symbol of sustainability. In order to be eligible for receiving a Mother Earth sculpture, countries must submit their environment-saving actions and timelines to the United Nations.

As countries announce environment-saving achievements, the Mother Earth Project posts these major accomplishments on its MEP Hall of Achievements page.

What a wonderful way to educate, inspire and acknowledge the efforts of people around the world!

(Visit their website for more info: http://motherearthproject.org/ )