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Project to Clean Up the Ocean's Garbage Patch Isn't Working
On Saturday, December 29th, during a regular inspection of the cleanup system, our offshore crew discovered that an 18-meter end-section had detached from the rest of the system. Although it is too early to confirm the cause of the malfunction, we hypothesize that material fatigue (caused by about 106 load cycles), combined with a local stress concentration, caused a fracture in the HDPE floater.

We are, of course, quite bummed about this as 1) we hoped to stay out for a bit longer to collect more data on plastic-system interaction, and 2) it introduces an additional challenge to be solved. At the same time, we also realize that setbacks like this are inevitable when pioneering new technology at a rapid pace.

 
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AIS Hysteria - It seems the hot topic in the last few months has been the invasion of non-native species of aquatic plants and fish into Lake Champlain. To quote the Lake Champlain Basin Program Guide for Aquatic Invasive Species: “The Lake Champlain Basin is home to a number of invasive species that cause economic and ecological harm to our ecosystem.”


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