Countdown begins for Ocean Cleanup System 001 launch

Countdown begins for Ocean Cleanup System 001 launch

In 10 days, on September 8th, Ocean Cleanup will launch the world’s first ocean cleanup system from an assembly yard in Alameda, out through the San Francisco Bay, toward the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

We first talked about the crowd-funded ocean cleaning company back in 2016 and since then the company has undertaken 273 scale model tests, created six at-sea prototypes, completed a comprehensive survey of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with 30 vessels and an airplane and now say they are ready to put the world’s first ocean cleanup system to the test.

On September 8, the team will launch the system from the Ocean Cleanup assembly yard in Alameda. From there it will pass through the San Francisco Bay, and out towards the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Timeline for Ocean Cleanup Launch

  • System 001 assembly will be finalized on August 30. It will then be lowered into the Seaplane Lagoon, preparing it for the launch.
  • In the evening of September 7, the system will be transferred from the lagoon to make tow with the Maersk Launcher at Anchorage 8. A second vessel will be fixed to the aft of System 001 to maintain a stable position.
  • Early morning September 8th: the tow will be prepared and launch craft will start her engines at around 10:30.
  • 12:00 pm September 8th: The system will be nearing the Bay Bridge around 12:00 pm. Ocean Cleanup will be live streaming the event from this point.
  • 12:25 pm September 8th: the system should near Treasure Island; with spectators able to catch a glimpse of it as it moves underneath the Bay Bridge and moves towards Alcatraz
  • 13:00 pm September 8th: The system should now be about 2/3 of a milelong. It will move around Alcatraz Island at low speed
  • 14:00 pm September 8th: The Launcher will be near the Golden Gate Bridge. The San Franciso fire brigade will make a water salute as it passes by.
  • 15:00 pm September 8th: By 14:15 the tow should clear from the bridge and head southwest out to sea towards the Pacific Trials location. The Maersk Launcher and System 001 will then continue its journey to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, another 1000 nautical miles from the US coastline.

How it Works

The barrier works by using sea currents to passively guide rubbish in surface waters into a V-shaped cone which can then be periodically collected and emptied. A cable anchors the boom in place, in depths up to 3miles, so it can trap the rubbish for periodic collection by boats

“The Ocean Cleanup” is one of the first crowd-funded projects to try to tackle large-scale environmental problems. With its charismatic founder Boyan Slat being heralded as capturing the imagination of a new generation in the Netherlands.

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