The Ocean Cleanup launches Mega Expedition project

The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch non-profit foundation aimed at developing technologies to extract, prevent and intercept plastic pollution, yesterday announced the launch of it’s next major project. 

Taking place in August 2015, Mega Expedition will see up to 50 vessels collect more plastic measurements in three weeks than have been collected in the past 40 years combined. The project will cover an area of 3,500,000km2 between Hawaii and California in parallel, creating the first high-resolution map of plastic in the Pacific Ocean.

The expedition is supported by the world-famous Transpac sailing race, which is assisting in the recruitment of vessels to join the movement beginning in the Port of Los Angeles.

Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles said, “Increasing our scientific understanding of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is essential to developing effective solutions. It’s this type of creative and large-scale thinking that we need to tackle problems like this. We’re proud to be welcoming the Mega Expedition to the Port of Los Angeles this year.”

Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup added, “When you want to clean the oceans, it is important to know how much plastic is out there. Right now, estimates vary orders of magnitude, due to the small amount of measurements, which furthermore have been taken over a very long period.

“The Mega Expedition will allow us to produce the first-ever high-resolution estimate of the amount of plastic inside the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and we are grateful for the Mayor’s and Transpac’s support. This enables us to continue preparing the passive cleanup technology for our first ocean pilot, taking place in the first half of 2016.” 

The Ocean Cleanup's goal is to accelerate the world's fight against oceanic plastic pollution, by initiating the largest cleanup in history. Instead of going after the plastic, which would take many thousands of years and billions of dollars to complete, The Ocean Cleanup will use a 100km-long floating barrier to let the ocean currents concentrate the plastic themselves. Computer modelling indicates that a single system deployed for ten years will remove almost half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Skippers and vessels can still sign up to participate.

For more information, visit The Ocean Cleanup, or view the video, here.

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