Here’s a good write-up from Contra Costa Times on Project Kaisei’s research trip through the Pacific Garbage Patch (see a video of the voyage). The project is searching for the best way to clean up the scattered mass of trash caught up in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where four currents collide to form a gyre, or a vortex, about 500 miles off the coast of California.
In five to eight years, researchers say, the trash will start washing up on beaches. They’d like to start cleaning it up before then – maybe using some of the techniques used to clean up the Gulf oil spill. As Project Kaisei co-founder Mary Crowley said:
“There is a sense that a lot of things that worked for oil spills could work for plastic because, in effect, this terrible proliferation of plastic is just another form of oil spill.”