The project is a collaboration between the non-profit Project Kaisei and UC San Diego's Scripps Institution. Their two boats, Kaisei and the New Horizon, departed Tuesday for the North Pacific Gyre. They will spend the month of August collecting debris to study possible retrieval and processing techniques that could be potentially used to detoxify and recycle these materials into diesel fuel.
Few details are known about the size and severity of the gyre and these research trips are huge steps towards understanding marine pollution. If enough information is collected to determine the seriousness of the issue, a clean up plan will be initiated in the following 18 months.
Good luck to all participating in the project! We're all anxious to see what you discover.