The Ocean Cleanup, founded by the Dutchman Boyan Slat (1994) who invented a method aimed at cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, today announced its next major project: the Mega Expedition, in which up to 50 vessels will collect more plastic measurements in three weeks than have been collected in the past 40 years combined.
The Mega Expedition will take place in August 2015, in which up to 50 vessels will cover a 3,500,000 km² area between Hawaii and California in parallel, creating the first high-resolution map of plastic in the Pacific Ocean.
The expedition, an initiative of The Ocean Cleanup, is supported by the world-famous Transpac sailing race, which is assisting in the recruitment of vessels. The City of San Francisco will welcome the expedition to its port by the end of August.
Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup: “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 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.”