I first saw this news on Twitter when looking at the daily news. I was pleasantly surprised to see an invention geared toward the ocean cleanup initiative. For the longest time, and I'm sure everyone can agree, the phrase, "the ocean is dying" has been exclaimed quite a lot of times. Now, this is partially due to our lack of care for the environment and global warming. There are many projects involving the clean up of the ocean that are extremely helpful and equally as important, so I will speak about the most recent one.
The founder of the Ocean Cleanup project is Boyan Slat who is a native of the Netherlands. He began his work in 2013 at the age of 18 when he felt compelled to enact change in a growing problem. He has assembled a team of 70 specialists in the engineering field that are researching and making his dream a reality. His passion for pollution prevention helped create a solution to an international problem.
Scientists at the Ocean Clean Up have stated that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) covers "an estimated surface area of 1.6 million square kilometers, an area twice the size of Texas or three times the size of France." This is disgusting and so disrespectful to our environment. I can't believe I have never known this. Without change, this mass will only continue to grow and become worse.
On their website, their important message is that it affects our environment, economy, and health.
The marine environment has been affected by pollution for years. A lot of species of ocean life are either endangered or extinct. Although some are unaffected the more the pollution grows the worse it will affect these defenseless victims of our wrongdoings.
Our economy is suffering the more we ignore this growing epidemic. This pollution directly affects the fish we eat on a weekly basis. They also go on to say, "this financial damage of 13 billion dollars a year stems from the impact of the plastic on marine life, tourism, fisheries, and businesses." Without prevention, we will continue to repeat this financial set back for years to come.
Our health is affected by the plastic toxins that are infusing in the sea life. With the fish absorbing these toxins it is in turn introduced to our body when we eat them. Who knows how this will affect our bodies in years to come?
This brings us to the machine that is currently working to help clean our ocean. The machine is 600 meters long and travels 3-meters deep, and it collects and traps debris within its embrace. They are predicting that within five years, 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will be taken out of the ocean.
With everything about this project please take it with a grain of salt. These predictions are subject to change with this ever-changing problem.
What should you do next?
If anything please keep yourself informed about the issue. This project is so interesting and is solving a massive problem that is occurring all over the world. I also encourage you to find other problems that are affecting our planet and share them with your friends. As millennials, we tend to be uninformed on certain issues. Find an issue that you are passionate about and enact a change whether it is local, national or international!