From the miscellaneous drawer - Clear Blue Sea

Preliminary design for FRED - Floating Robot for Eliminating Debris

With the world run amok, the loss of privacy is troublesome. It seems far better to focus on issues rather than individuals.
One issue which, with plastics and trash thrown into area lakes, could eventually have an impact on inland waters as well as current ocean problems being faced right now. The latter is one my niece Susan Baer in San Diego is heavily involved in now: Ocean clean-up with a non-profit named “Clear Blue Sea.” She recently sent out this update: “Key Highlights for the last 4 months include:
“Business and Engineering Summer Interns. Our SDSU business intern researched the economics of harvesting ocean plastic and selling it to recycling centers for re-purposing. There is clearly an established market for this, and the current commercial recycling centers have both demand and high profitability. So that’s good news. Our second summer interns is from Webb Naval Engineering Institute and he worked on re-design of the original ocean debris collection system to increase its performance with lower cost and higher reliability.
“Instead of a series of forks and combs to collect marine garbage, we are now working off a design based on conveyor belts run using solar-powered batteries. One of the interns worked as a volunteer with academic credit and the second intern was paid via self-funding. We intend to increase our team of students and volunteers until significant external funding is achieved.
“Acceptance into San Diego’s Blue Tech Incubator. CBSea applied and was approved to join the Blue Tech Incubator sponsored by The Maritime Alliance and Dentons Law Offices. This is a free service, so we have a very nice window office in unused law building space and access to mentors for guidance and networking.
“Our two lawyer contacts at Dentons turn out to be Ocean Beach surfers and are personally engaged in the issue of ocean clean up. So I refer to them as the surfer-lawyers.
“Preliminary Design of the first FRED Prototype. Our Floating Robot for Eliminating Debris (FRED) is undergoing some significant design changes from the first conceptual rendering. In addition to the new conveyor-belt debris collection subsystem design, FRED will no longer include netting of any kind and the complex wingsails we were considering look like they may not be needed as there is very little wind in the ocean gyres. This will enable FRED to be more easily and cheaply built and operated.
“For those of you who have not seen it, we have a website at and a Facebook page at
“We are trying to raise funds towards our $3600 requirement for our second Webb Institute engineering intern, coming here from NY in the winter. Even a $10 donation via our website would be most appreciated”
Take a look. You may be as impressed as I was and donate. She’ll be in Ely visiting for a few days in November if you wish to talk to her about it.
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In the Ely Echo newspaper of October 12, 1977, forty years ago, the headlines were:
• Tourist operators sue for $1 Million;
• Front Page Editorial: Nobody needs the Carter Bill;
• Ely back in water treatment bind again;
• Ely area site for six possible wilderness additions.