Gloucester, MA, USA – An extraordinary group of children came together on a sunny summer morning for a very special cause: eradicating marine pollution. The young philanthropists formed a club dubbed “Plastic: Pick it Up!”. They volunteered their precious summer day organizing a lemonade stand that raised $540, which they donated to help purchase a Marina Trash Skimmer from Bellingham, Wash.-based Marina Accessories Inc. (MAI).
The effort was part of a much larger coalition of local organizations under the name Cape Ann Maritime Partnership (CAMP). The group uses a collaborative approach in providing effective educational tools to raise awareness and create community engagement in combating marine debris.
The skimmer, which utilizes sustainable technology to remove plastics, oil, trash and other marine debris helps preserve the health of the marine environment. Each unit can clean over 300 gallons of water a minute using a patented technology. It uses very little energy, amounting to less than $2 per day to operate.
CAMP also hosted an online naming contest for the skimmer, where the public was invited to weigh in. The winner was announced on September 17, with the introduction of Skimmy Gibbler. The skimmer even has its own Twitter account boasting it as Gloucester’s newest and hungriest resident.
“This is a truly wonderful community effort,” said Lane Brinson, business manager for MAI, the company that produces the skimmer. “It is humbling and exciting to know that their collective efforts were centered on a stewardship effort that utilizes our equipment.”
The community expects to receive the new skimmer in late October. Once installed, they plan to collect data on the types and amount of debris collected. The effort will guide policy and mitigation techniques in an attempt to minimize the litter and pollutants before they reach the water according to CAMP.
Marina Accessories Inc. is a parts and accessories provider for contractors, marinas and private dock owners. Headquartered in Bellingham, Wash., it is an affiliate of Bellingham Marine.