UPDATE: Norfolk's Floating Trash Filter Brings in Big Haul

It’s only been two months, and the trash-collecting Seabin installed at Nauticus is already making a big difference for the Elizabeth River.

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As Bay Bulletin reported in October, the Seabin was placed in the water on the Nauticus science center’s campus in downtown Norfolk. Since early that month, the device, which snags marine debris and filters water out, has collected more than 138 pounds of junk, says Susie Hill, Education Specialist and Special Programs Manager at the maritime science center.

“It collects anything and everything,” Hill says of the Seabin, which runs 24 hours a day and filters approximately seven gallons per hour. During one day alone this fall, it was able to collect 21 pounds of debris.

So far, the device has captured straws, coffee cups, construction debris, weeds, algae, and lots of plastic. Thanks to the composition of the Seabin’s mesh net, Hill says it’s also able to catch the notorious micro-plastics, tiny pieces of plastic measuring less than five millimeters.

The center’s education crew and the Nauticus Junior Scientists Club make sure the device is cleaned and monitored regularly.

The small workhorse may be joined by other Seabins in the near future; “the intention is to have three of them around Nauticus’s campus” in the next two years.

-Laura Adams Boycourt

 Nauticus Junior Scientists Club Alumni/Now Education Volunteer Dylan McNemar helps clean the Seabin. Photo: Nauticus.

Nauticus Junior Scientists Club Alumni/Now Education Volunteer Dylan McNemar helps clean the Seabin. Photo: Nauticus.

Laura Boycourt