Last Edited: 11/22/12
Just north of Hawaii there is a gyre that supports four main currents, within it lies a high concentration of photo-degenerated polymer particles. Many people believe that this area is teaming with large pieces of plastic debris, however this is a common misconception. These particles are extremely small; about one thousandth the diameter of a human hair (5 nm). There are many organisms in this region beneficial to the ocean’s ecosystem that are of a similar size. These plastic particles attach themselves to V.O.C’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) like DDT, and then are ingested by all sea life. Scientists are unsure of the actual consequences of such an ecological problem, but they are aware that it has an effect on the food chain. Ocean Harvest Is a system of buoys that use an electro-static filter to distinguish between organisms and plastics. The buoy charges a set of filters that attract the polymers by producing low level electric currents in the water. After the buoy is full it produces a radio signal with its coordinates, signaling it requires emptying. The buoy contains on-board kinetic generators which translate the natural bobbing motion of the buoy into energy for all on-board electrical components. The buoy keeps a steady position in the gyre by way of GPS and motor (Dynamic Positioning). This project was featured in Metropolis Magazine 2010.