Junior Reporter: The Ocean Cleanup Project

July 12, 2018

Junior Reporter Caleb S. had the opportunity of a lifetime when the folks at the Ocean Cleanup Project gave him a behind-the-scenes tour of their assembly yard in Alameda, California. What did Caleb learn about the machines that will help clean up the ocean? Check out his report below!

My Trip To The Ocean Cleanup Project

By Caleb S.

When I went to the ocean cleanup assembly yard in Alameda, the people who we met and who gave us the tour were very nice. I enjoyed the tour. They showed us the apparatus that they used to clean up the ocean and how they made it. The walls of the HDPE pipes that make up part of it are almost two inches thick and about one yard in diameter. The apparatus worked by letting the currents push the plastic into the device, which moved slower than the currents. The device was very durable; they even rammed the tugboat that they used to transport it to the testing waters into it, and the resulting gash was only about five millimeters deep.

To attach the sections of pipe together, they used a welding machine, which melted the ends together, sealing them.

They attached about five sections of pipe together and then set it aside until they were ready to launch the device. Then they would attach them as they were pulled into the water. One individual pipe looks like this. (In picture below, not to scale, pipes in background.) Each pipe before they were attached together was about 12.75 yards long.

Junior Reporter Caleb checks out the long pipes used for the Ocean Cleanup Project.