Great Pacific Garbage Patch

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Citlalli Perez , Reporter

Wilson, the 2,000-mile long floating pipe, is in hopes of collecting synthetic materials and debris that are afloat the world’s oceans. The research of the plastics around the world and the actual layout of the pipe commencing back in 2013, The Ocean Cleanup team has raised over $30 million in the past few years, compared to their initial $2 million. Though Wilson has been tested and remodeled over the past years, some complications and errors may still occur if placed in the heavy situation of collecting the tons of plastic waste floating in the oceans.

The pipe is shaped in a “U” formation which allows for plastics to collect in a most efficient manner. It ranges 10 feet beneath the water’s surface and encloses the trash underneath. Wilson is also digitally controlled in order to communicate, via satellite pods on both ends of the machinery, with the company’s overseas headquarters.  

The model is a step in the collection of plastics, but it brings the attention of another serious matter to oceanographers and experts; what about the dangers sea life will be exposed to? Sea turtles and various other aquatic animals may find themselves in the mass collection of trash. Wilson is designed to protect the lives of sea life with openings allowing the waters current to push sea life through. Machinery may even fail in executing the plan which in terms could lead to parts splitting from Wilson and adding to the already high percentage of trash at sea.

The possibility of any errors occurring may raise the eyebrow of most, but the pipe is a step in the future on preserving the world and oceans in the decades to come. The Ocean Cleanup team is hopeful in collecting 50 tons of debris by the spring of 2019 and clean an upward of 90% of the seas plastics by 2040.

Recently, President Donald Trump signed the Save Our Seas Act into law, which is another step in the cleanup efforts of the ocean. Trump and Administration hope in persuading citizens to help and have a part in the act.

The length at which Wilson has raised speculation to Eben Schwarz, marine debris program manager at the California Coastal Commission. According to his source, Schwarz has collected roughly around seven to ten times the plastic wastes The Ocean Cleanup team hopes in collecting. In the fraction of the time and cost it takes Schwarz to collect the waste and people partaking in the prevention of waste ending up in the ocean, has the idea Wilson might not even be necessary for the oceans cleanup.

Schwarz, like most other marine researchers, does not see eye to eye with the cleanup efforts the Ocean Cleanup team are making with their robotic Wilson device. A step, if any, is a step that signifies the cleanup efforts of plastic in the ocean. Together the population can greatly improve the earth’s environment for the generations to come.