The Ocean Cleanup project to halt the growth of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has moved into the preparation of key instruments. A team of ocean-going scavengers rented the former Alameda naval airfield in San Francisco Bay and began assembling the necessary equipment there. Moving forward to the front of work in the ocean itself is scheduled for this summer.
The essence of the Ocean Cleanup project is extremely simple: humanity now does not have the resources to get rid of the infamous garbage spots in the Pacific Ocean - which means that they must at least contain their growth. Since the heaps themselves are formed by ocean currents, former student Boyan Slat suggested placing giant plastic barriers in their path. They will intercept the debris carried from the coast to the center of the ocean, and the spot will stop growing.
The key idea of the entire project is that the barriers will work passively and will not interfere with marine life. Only debris that floats on the surface, that is, plastic, will be caught. Despite the ensuing criticism, the project has already raised multimillion-dollar funding and will be implemented. Equipment is being brought to the Alameda station so that the first piece of the 600-meter fence will be assembled next month and tested before being sent to the ocean.
Project managers say the site was chosen in part because of its symbolism. The old station has repeatedly served as a training ground for projects like Mythbusters, scenes with car accidents were filmed here for the movie The Matrix Reloaded, and it has a rich military engineering background. Perhaps such a halo will help to create a revolutionary system for cleaning the Pacific Ocean.