The Ocean Cleanup struggles to prove it will not harm sea life

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I am deeply concerned that a project intending to collect plastic from the ocean’s surface, known as The Ocean Cleanup, will sweep up countless floating marine animals–collectively called the neuston–potentially putting a whole species and ecosystems at risk. I’ve raised these concerns in an article for The Atlantic, and suggested potential changes to their system–like moving it closer to shore–that would protect the open ocean.

On Thursday, The Ocean Cleanup published a blog post in reply to my concerns. I was incredibly hopeful up until this point that they would listen. After all, my efforts to raise awareness have been met with tremendous support from fellow scientists and the general public. I was hoping The Ocean Cleanup would listen.

I’m not going to lie, the frustration I felt when reading their response was real and heavy. I love this ecosystem, I wouldn’t be putting myself out there if I