Concerns about the health of the world’s oceans have been growing for some time. Recently, Starfish Wasting Disease has reemerged off the Pacific American coast, claiming millions of echinoderms. Meanwhile, fishermen across the world have been reporting lower yields and higher mercury levels in their catches. Perhaps most disturbing once flourishing marine ecosystems are being turned into barren wastelands in spots across the globe. Given that oceans are so vast, we often think of our impact on them is minimal. Most think cleaning the oceans up is not a pressing need and, even if we did clean them up, it would be an undertaking too large for any one country. Boyan Slat, a 19-year-old student currently attending Delft University of Technology, has presented a possible solution that may address part of the problem and even turn around a profit.
Above: an artist's rendition of what Slat's floating, self-powered plastic collection nodes could look like. The booms extend to either side and would connect with other processing nodes.