This is innovative – How the oceans can clean themselves: Boyan Slat at TEDxDelft

This is a good example on using the mind to do worthwhile projects to benefit oneself and the world.

Video information

Boyan Slat (@BoyanSlat, Delft, 1994) combines environmentalism, creativity and technology to tackle global issues of sustainability. Currently working on oceanic plastic pollution, he believes current prevention measures will have to be supplemented by active removal of plastics in order to succeed. With his concept called Marine Litter Extraction, Boyan Slat proposes a radical clean-up solution, for which he won the Best Technical Design award 2012 at the TU Delft.

Where millions of tons of plastic kill ocean life and poison food chains, Boyan sees opportunities to combat this. While researching ocean plastics during school holidays, he performed analysis on various fundamental topics (including particle sizes, plastic/plankton separation and the amount of plastic in the oceans), leading up to the first realistic concept for cleaning up the world’s oceans.

Now a first-year Aerospace Engineering student at the TU Delft, Boyan has always been passionate about applying technology in an original way (at age fourteen he set a world record with launching 213 water rockets), and as an (underwater)photographer and videographer witnesses environmental degradation through his very own eyes.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

According to this article, a 19-year-old student, Boyan Slat, planned to develop an ocean cleanup array – it is inspiring of him to use his resources to do something worthwhile for both humanity and the environment. He also has a website devoted to this project.

Plastic Ocean
Plastic Ocean (Photo credit: Kevin Krejci)

I have checked out the above video on how he has been working on innovative measures to reduce oceanic plastic pollution. I think his project is worth implementing, especially since we are living in a “plastic age”, and it can be difficult to manually remove plastic waste that had been washed into the ocean which may be eaten by small fishes and other sea creatures, which may in turn end up on our dinner tables eventually as a result of our food chains being poisoned. From my understanding, the automatic cleanup method he proposed, which runs on clean natural energy such as solar energy, looks set to be financially viable, technologically efficient and ecologically sound. It promotes recycling of used plastic too.

Please click here if you want to find out how you can get involved in this worthwhile project.

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Horseshoe crab rescue and research programme at Mandai mudflats (9 March 2013)

Briefing on the horseshoe crab rescue and research programme
Briefing on the horseshoe crab rescue and research programme. Here, the speaker demonstrates some ways of handling a horseshoe crab gently.

The horseshoe crab rescue and research programme at Mandai mudflats was organised by the Nature Society of Singapore. According to Mr Tan Hang Zhong, who introduced himself as the honorary assistant secretary of the society, this programme is part of a bigger research study for IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

Volunteers started to comb the mudflats for horseshow crabs
Volunteers started to comb the mudflats for horseshoe crabs

One of the purposes of the programme is to keep track of the horseshoe crab population in this area, which is a wintry feeding ground for migratory shorebirds.

The volunteers would find and collect horseshoe crabs in pails for identification and measurement before releasing them back into the wild.
The volunteers would find and collect horseshoe crabs in pails for identification and measurement before releasing them back into the wild.
The volunteers include students from Ngee Ann polytechnic, Raffles Junior College and youth.sg
The volunteers include students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Raffles Junior College and youth.sg.

This area may be developed in future, so the research study may be used to advocate nature conservation in this area.

Mandai mudflats stretch across Kranji area in the northwestern coast of Singapore.
Mandai mudflats stretch across Kranji area in the northwestern coast of Singapore.

The second purpose of the programme is to rescue any horseshoe crab trapped in fishing nets.

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This is the collection point where the horseshoe crabs are identified, measured, marked and recorded for research studies.
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The horseshoe crabs are temporarily placed in a container before they are released back into the mangrove habitat.

The third purpose is to collect man-made litter on the mudflats and dispose them properly at a nearby garbage collection point. Such litter includes discarded drink packets, electric plugs, soles of shoes, plastic bags, drink straws, etc).