Project Kaisei: Earth Hero

Project Kaisei consists of a team of innovators, scientists, environmentalists, ocean lovers, sailors, and sports enthusiasts who have come together with a common purpose. To study the North Pacific Gyre and the marine debris that has collected in this oceanic region, to determine how to capture the debris and to study the possible retrieval and processing techniques that could be potentially employed to detoxify and recycle these materials into diesel fuel. This first research expedition, scheduled for the summer of 2009, will be critical to understanding the logistics that would be needed to launch future clean-up operations and testing existing technologies that have never been utilized under oceanic conditions.

Project Kaisei will examine the largest area of the Plastic Vortex, an ocean gyre, situated to the North East of Hawaii, and approximately five days by boat from the United States (San Francisco area). The expedition will consist of a large pass through the Plastic Vortex, with the aim to collect and study plastic and other debris forms from the ocean in order to showcase some of the new technologies that will be used for processing and recycling.

The Project Kaisei team will embark on a multi-week expedition to the "Plastic Vortex" from the West Coast in order to

  • Study and document the marine debris found in this area of the Pacific Ocean;
  • Test catch methods for removing the debris;
  • Conduct research on the chemical interactions of marine debris in the gyre and select fishes and wildlife related to persistent organic pollutants (POPs);
  • Understand the needs required to undertake an eventual large scale clean-up of the waste material; and
  • Test technologies for conversion into an economically viable by-product: diesel fuel.

View the interactive Google Earth map here:

Manuel Martinez

Project GreenBag, 2200 Market St, San Francisco, CA, 94114, United States