The oceans and the marine life around the world are in grave danger due to pollution. All the sewer water and the garbage dumped in the rivers end up flowing into the oceans, harming the ecosystem. The rate of pollution, especially plastic pollution, is so surprisingly high that there are garbage patches in the oceans. Water bodies cover almost 71% of the earth, and oceans cover 91% of the water bodies. Still, humans have managed to pollute it to an extent where the quantity of plastic may exceed the amount of fish in the ocean by 2050.
Each year, World Oceans’ Day is celebrated with a theme and aim towards saving the oceans. The theme of 2019 was “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet” aiming towards the prevention of plastic pollution in the oceans.
Various activities to protect the ecosystem and marine life have been taken up by the Northeastern University family, which includes both students and teachers. One such project was Skye Moret’s study about ocean plastic plastic. One of her project is titled “Plastic Where It Shouldn’t Be”. Another such project is Ethan Edson’s thesis project called “Mantaray”. It is a sensory device that can be fixed to an ocean vessel and will help detect plastics levels in the sea. Edson’s current project aims at making a device that is not only lighter and smaller but also more effective in detecting plastic and marine life apart.
“As more plastic makes its way into our oceans, it will only become more of a problem for our ecosystem. We need to stay ahead of the curve on developing ways to monitor this issue going forward” said Edson.
Bureo is a company co-founded by Northeastern alumni, Ben Kneppers. The aim of this company is same as the others- reducing plastic pollution in the oceans. It only differs in it working. Bureo designs and manufactures skateboards, using and recycling the discarded fishing nets in the oceans. The company also runs a collection and recycling program of discarded plastic called ‘Net Positiva’. It has cleared around 50 tons of discarded nets from the oceans and beaches with local fishermen as partners.