Trash boat completes voyage


JULY 17 A 14-foot boat made of trash recently wrapped up a 300-mile tour along the California coast to raise awareness about the increasing number of plastic items polluting oceans and rivers.

The boat, called Fluke, was constructed of 800 two-liter plastic bottles as two pontoons; 50 polyester shirts for the sail; 1,000 braided plastic grocery bags for the lines; two road signs as the deck; an aluminum pole for the mast; a car seat from the dump; and a 5-hp engine, a news report says. It was built by students from Environmental Charter High School in cooperation with members of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. Dr. Marcus Eriksen, from the research foundation, sailed the boat in June from Santa Barbara to San Diego, making 13 stops along the way.

“I counted about 1,000 plastic bags when in Marina del Rey,” Eriksen says in the report.

During the six-week tour Eriksen made stops at a number of schools to speak about waters being polluted by plastics, the report says. Eriksen made a similar journey in 2003 down the Mississippi River for five months educating people about plastic trash in the oceans.

The Fluke project was funded by a grant from the California Coastal Commission, according to the report.

— Jason Fell