Sargassum Collector
“Bluetide” represents a promising path forward in the battle against the Sargassum problem in the Caribbean. By combining innovative engineering with a commitment to sustainability and community empowerment, this device offers hope for the restoration of Caribbean beaches and the preservation of its unique marine ecosystems. As we stand at the intersection of environmental stewardship, technological advancement, and social engagement, the Sargassum Collector is a beacon of progress, signalling a brighter, cleaner future for the Caribbean's coastal treasures, collectively nurtured by its people.

Team: Denisse Ojeda / Dominik Bini

Photos of the Sarggasum flowing into the caribic coastlines

The picturesque beaches of the Caribbean, with their turquoise waters and pristine sands, have long been a symbol of paradise on Earth. However, in recent years, this paradise has faced a growing environmental challenge known as the Sargassum problem. Large quantities of Sargassum seaweed have been washing ashore, marring the once-pristine beaches and disrupting the delicate coastal ecosystems. The Sargassum, once a vital part of the open ocean ecosystem, has become a source of concern for locals, tourists, and environmentalists alike.
The Sargassum influx is driven by a complex interplay of factors, including climate change and increased nutrient runoff from agriculture and sewage. As it accumulates on the shores, the seaweed not only spoils the natural beauty but also poses serious threats to marine life, damages coral reefs and emits noxious gases harmful to human health.

At the heart of Bluetide is an inner roller mechanism, inspired by garden leaf collectors, designed for efficiency and ease of use. As users push the two-wheel trolley along the beach, the inner roller effectively sweeps and corrals the Sargasso into a specially designed net. This collector's ingenious design goes a step further by promoting the effective aggregation and drainage of Sargasso. As the seaweed is gathered into the net, excess water easily drains away, leaving behind a consolidated mass of Sargasso ready for removal​​​​​​​.

The removable net feature ensures easy disposal and replacement, making the device not only efficient but also environmentally friendly. This means that once a net is full, it can be quickly detached and replaced with a fresh one, minimizing downtime and allowing for continuous collection. “Bluetide” seeks to become a tool to empower citizens and small businesses to take part in keeping the ocean and beaches as clean as possible, recognizing these spaces as collective treasures meant for everyone to enjoy. By actively involving communities in the collection process, we aim to build a sense of ownership and pride in the natural beauty of the Caribbean.

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