For years now, many have turned a blind eye to the blight we have inflicted upon our oceans. Overwhelmed by the task at hand, they have hastily labeled cleanup an impossibility. This is unacceptable. Here at Oceanus, we reject that defeatist mentality. Instead of allowing this momentous task to rout us, we have developed an entirely new approach in regards to the reversal of our plastic pollution problem.
The traditional approach to cleaning up the substantial amount of plastic debris floating in our gyres usually involves a fleet of ships (which would pollute the environment even more), hundreds of people, billions of dollars, and massive nets that would trap more marine life in them than plastic. Those who claim oceanic cleanup to be an impossibility are right about one thing: these conventional courses of action would not only be impractical, but inexecutable as well. So, then, what do we do? We think outside the box. We eliminate stale and outdated ideas. If we are going to tackle the problems of today for the betterment of tomorrow, we cannot employ the same archaic ways of thinking that we used when we created this mess.
A simple idea—one so obvious a solution that it’s mind-boggling it hasn’t been done before. There are obstacles impeding the cleanup of our oceans gyres? Well, eliminate the obstacles. It really is just that simple.
Instead of acquiring a fleet of ships, which would burn preposterous amounts of fossil fuel, thereby hastening global warming, we will acquire a single cargo ship. We then modify this standard cargo ship to fit our needs: we outfit this ship with solar paneling and mobile wind turbines to help with energy needs, consequently lowering our consumption of fossil fuel, and in turn, the pollution that comes with it; we will also be outfitting this ship with a specially modified skimmer, powered by a powerful dredge pump that has been designed to skim the surface of the gyre—negating the need to use inefficient nets that would do little more than snare marine wildlife; furthermore, we will be revamping the ship’s engine so that it can run on environmental friendly biodiesel blends, lessening our carbon footprint even more. In addition to these modifications, we will be outfitting the ship with one final component, to be addressed below.
We then set off for the gyre, a trip which will take approximately one week. Once there, we begin siphoning the top layer of the gyre (the majority of this plastic debris floats within ten meters of the surface of the water). The wonderful thing is, once we arrive at our destination, we have no further need to run the ship’s engines. The solar paneling and wind turbines will generate enough energy to supply power to the parts of the ship needing it. The only times we will be running the engines will the infrequent trips to and from the gyre.
By this phase of our operation, we will have removed and stored vast amounts of plastic debris from the water. Now, instead of burning unconscionable amounts of fuel going back and forth from gyre to land-based recycling facilities, we bring the recycling facility to us. We will have equipped our ship with all the necessary sorting and recycling machinery needed to recycle this plastic at sea—the final addition to Oceanus’ ship.
The ability to process and recycle the captured plastic from the gyre while still at sea is an integral part of Oceanus’ plan, because believe it or not, all of this plastic is going right back into the water from which it was extracted. On-ship, we will use our recycled materials to build what amount to sophisticated Lego blocks. These floating modular blocks will be constructed using specially designed casings, coated in a UV-resistant polymer (which will keep our materials from photodegrading), and filled with the recycled plastic we have been polluting our oceans with for generations now.
The blocks will then be encased in concrete, to both ensure structural integrity, and to contain any toxins that may have seeped into the recycled plastics, keeping them from further harming our environment. With each modular block built, our oceans will become cleaner, safer, and healthier. More than that, even, these former pollutants then become valuable tools with which to build an entirely green, self-sustainable, and environmentally conscious community, rife with possibilities.
Once the blocks are built, we fasten them together using special interlocking dowels. This creates a sound and stable structure, capable of supporting any kind of habitat to be built atop it. We are actually using some of the same technology that is currently being used in floating oil platforms around the world, known to be a reliable foundation for heavy structures on open waters. The difference is, they are destroying the environment, we are restoring it. By layering fertile soil over the blocks, we will also be creating the opportunity to raise crops on Oceanus, further ensuring its self-sustainability.
As our efforts to eradicate plastic pollution accumulate, so do our building materials. With each block locked into place onto Oceanus, our community grows. Environmental, medical, and pharmaceutical research facilities, private homes, and public gardens are built, all powered by solar, wind, and wave energy.
Our goals here at Oceanus are multifold. While our primary objective is, and always will be, oceanic cleanup, if we are going to tackle one of the largest and most critical environmental crises humanity has faced to date, we cannot be singular in our objective. In the pursuit of our primary goal, a multitude of other forward-thinking opportunities will present themselves. Our closed circle plan is teeming with benefits—the reduction of pollution, the resuscitation of marine wildlife, and all of the myriad of prospects presented by Oceanus’ floating real estate are just the broad strokes of this vision. Imagine a community of like-minded, progressive individuals pioneering an entirely new environmentally sound way of life, surrounded by an ever-expanding region of recovering ocean. This is Oceanus.