Tackling Garbage In The Ocean

North County Times:

Hebert and his partners didn’t set out to clean up the ocean. A longtime angler, surfer and former tugboat captain, Hebert, 41, spent much of his life on the sea. While working at Pacific Tugboat Services with his friend Griffith, 62, he started tinkering with stretches of boom —- floating plastic tubing —- left over from Navy operations.

Noticing that trash seemed to collect and slide along the length of booms, he wondered whether he could devise a way to capture it. A year ago, he enlisted the help of Taylor, 67, his former metal shop teacher at San Dieguito High School, and together they produced a device he calls the marine debris trap.

The metal trap features a gate that swings open with enough wind or tide, sweeping trash into an enclosure before it shuts with the outgoing current, capturing debris in a boom enclosure.

He figured the device could help block the flow of trash from waterways and installed a test model in front of a storm drain at Pacific Tugboat Services in San Diego. The three partners applied to patent the device, formed a company called GRR —- an amalgamation of their initials —- and began marketing the invention this year.

Photo by ansik

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