NORFOLK, Va. - A healthy Chesapeake Bay means a healthy economic environment for our entire region. That’s why some are excited about new technology in the water right now.
Nauticus and Wärtsilä Defense recently announced the installation of the first Seabin on the East Coast.
They’re like trash cans in the water.
Organizers said there are about 30 of them around the world.
The Chesapeake-based group Wartsila Defense donated the one located at the marina near Nauticus.
“We have been trying to clean up the Chesapeake Bay for about 40 years and every little bit helps,” said Congressman Bobby Scott (D), District 3.
They said the Seabin will draw about a ton of trash over the course of a year.
According to a leader with Wartsila: “Seabins, floating trash bins located in the water at marinas, docks, yacht clubs and commercial ports, collect floating trash by drawing in water from the surface. Using low energy submersible pumps, the water is then pumped back into the marina, leaving litter and debris trapped in the Seabin’s catch bag to be disposed of properly. The bins also have the potential to collect some of the oils and pollutants floating on the water’s surface. Wärtsilä is a pilot partner of the Seabin Project and has installed over 30 Seabins globally as part of the Future of the Seas initiative."
“The installation of this Seabin is a continuation of our efforts to bring the Elizabeth River back to full health, and we are delighted to have Wärtsilä’s support,” Stephen Kirkland, Executive Director of the Nauticus, said. “The students in the Junior Scientists Club, who are taking on responsibility for this Seabin, are the future of our community. They are leading the way for the next generation by raising awareness of environmental issues and working hands-on to make a positive impact.”
“I think it’s great for our environment and it’s great effort,” said 16-year-old Alexander Hein, who is a volunteer at Nauticus.
Students and junior scientists like Hein will be ones maintaining the Seabin and clearing it out.
“I think it’s a fantastic thing to clean out our water,” said Congressman Scott Taylor (R), District 2, “but also that juniors scientist here will be maintaining it and having that responsibility. I think that’s fantastic.”
“Wärtsilä is working to radically transform the world’s marine and energy industries into one supremely efficient, ecologically sound, digitally connected and collaborative system. Through our partnership with the Seabin Project, we can support the development and implementation of new environmental technology to improve the health of marine ecosystems,” said Aaron Bresnahan, Global Vice President of Marine Solution Sales at Wärtsilä. “We are proud to collaborate with the Nauticus Foundation to install the first of three Seabins on the Elizabeth River.”
Taylor said keeping our water clean is extremely important for economic vitality, recreational use and fishing industries.
“This is one of the busiest rivers that we have around here,” said Taylor.
“Taking a ton of trash out of the bay every year will certainly go a long way,” said Scott.
Organizers say they eventually plan to put two more Seabins in the Elizabeth River.