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Seabin Makes Difference In Cleaning Water In San Diego Marina

Seabin cofounder Pete Ceglinsky demonstrates how the device works at the Cabr...

Photo by John Carroll

Above: Seabin cofounder Pete Ceglinsky demonstrates how the device works at the Cabrillo Isle Marina, June 14, 2019.

Pollution in the oceans of the world is a major problem. It’s also a problem close to shore.

But a relatively small invention called the Seabin is making a big difference in cleaning San Diego’s coastal waters.

By Reporter John Carroll

The Seabin works like a pool filter, sucking in water and trapping waste, but it cleans marinas, ports and harbors.

In San Diego on Friday, Seabin CEO and co-founder Pete Ceglinski showed KPBS how the device works at Cabrillo Isle Marina on Harbor Island.

A container with a fiber lining catches debris and oil, which is sucked into the unit, similar to how a pool filter works. It filters the water and flushes clean water out the bottom. It’s emptied once or twice a day.

“We can stop the plastics close to the source of entry and we can stop the plastics from getting to the ocean. So that was one of the main goals, to get it before it gets to the ocean,” Ceglinski said.

RELATED: Cleaning Up San Diego Bay’s Dirty Marinas

As a lifelong surfer, Ceglinski spends a lot of time in the water. Several years ago, he and a friend got the idea of a trash-collecting device that would clean the relatively still waters of ports, marinas and harbors.

Now, there are about 720 Seabins in more than 40-countries around the world.

“Between the 720-units, we’re collecting around two, 2.2 tons of litter daily and if you times that by 365, it starts to really add up,” Ceglinski said.

The Seabin is remarkably efficient at capturing oil.

“We’re proud to have them here, proud that it keeps our water clean and our members appreciate it,” said Debbie Davis, the manager of Cabrillo Isle Marina.

Davis said before they got their two Seabins, water in the marina was constantly filled with oil and other muck.

Now, she said you can see the rocks below the surface.

Each Seabin costs about $5,000, and there will soon be more of them in California.

Ceglinski is about to take a road trip, bringing Seabins to harbors in L-A, Ventura and San Francisco.

Then, he’ll set off for Hawaii where he’ll install several Seabins in the coastal waters of Honolulu.

San Diego News Matters podcast branding

Two Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers are studying the changes in different parts of the world, about the change that could affect local oceans. Plus, cleaning up the ocean — hear how a locally invented contraption called a “Seabin” is working to collect everything from microplastics to oil; and the court-martial for Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who is accused of ... Read more →

Aired: June 17, 2019 | Transcript

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John Carroll
General Assignment Reporter & Anchor

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI'm a general assignment reporter and Saturday morning radio anchor for KPBS. I love coming up with story ideas that aren't being covered elsewhere, but I'm also ready to cover the breaking news of the day. In addition, I bring you the local news headlines on Saturday mornings during NPR's Weekend Edition.

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