Boyan Slat Vs. Water Pollution

Our Ocean

Most times the news is rancidly depressing, especially if you listen to the broadcasted news. I often scroll my feeds and see greed and ignorance eating up our planet without remorse. Animals poached for something as trivial as a handbag, sharks mutilated for bland soup. Petroleum sucked from and spilled into our oceans to make single-use plastics that will kill sea animals and create widespread pollution. It makes me sick to my stomach to think there can be such unabashed disrespect and greed on such a beautiful planet. Which is why I want to share a positive story with you about an amazing young mind, that of Boyan Slat and his battle against water pollution.

Who is Boyal Slat?

According to Wikipedia Boyan Slat is 24 year old kid from the Netherlands who dropped out of aerospace engineering school. Though this may not sound impressive, what you don’t know is that this ‘kid’ has created an invention that could make an immensely positive impact on ocean pollution. In 2012 he made a speech on Tedx Talks and shortly after went viral.  About a year later he founded The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization trying to rid the ocean of pollution. Now, in 2018, he is finally launching his invention, and so far it seems to be working as planned.

An Ingenious Creation

The Ocean Cleanup system is most simply described as a large flexible boom with a weighted skirt that reaches around 3 meters deep. The system utilizes the natural forces of the earth such as currents and wind to catch up ocean debris. The U-Shape of the system traps floating plastics in its arms. Then, every so often, a marine vessel can collect the trash. It will then be taken back to land sorted and recycled.

In addition, to its wonderful purpose, the system works autonomously. The little power it does require is supplied by solar and natural energies. Including it’s tracking and signaling systems; both important for monitoring progress as well as warning nearby ships to its location. Eventually, Boyal Slat plans to deploy a fleet of these systems into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Round 1, Fight!

It has finally started! For years I have been hearing and following the progress of Boyan Slat, rapidly and steadily working toward launching of his Ocean Cleanup Systems. This year they have launched System 001 which was deployed in the great garbage patch on October 16th, 2018. Now, I sit on the edge of my seat, waiting to hear the results from its deployment. If the system works as designed, The Ocean Cleanup estimates that they could clean up 50% of the great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 short years!

The impact that such a feat would have on the health on our marine environment is immense. It would decrease animal deaths and increase species population. It would reduce debris, it would reduce toxin levels and so much more. For a time we were innocently ignorant of the problems we were creating through our consumerism. Now, most are just ignorant, ignoring and disregarding something so obviously vital for the temporary ease of plastics. I am just glad there are people like Boyan Slat and The Ocean Cleanup who have the mind and power to do more than their part.

Help A Guy Out

I don’t know about you, but the ocean is definitely very important to me. Not because it supplies food and jobs for millions of people, but for what dwells within. As a diver, I spend countless hours interacting with the ocean environment and it has become a vital part of who I am. To see the health of the oceans bolster and begin rejuvenating after years of heart staking damage is with all I can give. If you, like myself, would like to the support the cause you can donate directly from their webpage. Or you can always share and spread the word. And perhaps most importantly, you should strive to be and more responsible consumer.

The pictures used in this article belong to TheOceanCleanup.com and BoyanSlat.com 

by | Nov 7, 2018 | Our Ocean

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