The Endowment for Clean Oceans is now raising the money to offer a one-million-dollar
prize for an actionable plan to clean up the floating islands of plastics that break down into trillions of pieces of micro plastics in every one of our oceans.
This garbage is floating and slowly evolving from macro pieces of plastic, to plastic made brittle by the sun that breaks up into micro plastics. The United Nation estimates there are more than 50 trillion pieces of micro plastics now in our oceans.
Humans need to clean up their mess in the ocean. We all can help. We can all help by proposing a solution or donating money.
Can you and your team come up with an actionable plan to clean the floating plastic islands in every ocean on our planet?
The winning team will have a systemic solution that will clean up the vast majority of the macro and the micro plastic particles floating our oceans. Micro plastics are pieces of plastic that are between one nanometer and less than five millimeters in size.
The winning plan must not be a passive solution, but an active one that is scalable planet-wide to remediate the decades of abuse and remove the macro and micro plastics now floating or suspended in our oceans.
There will be three panels which will evaluate every contest submission.
The first panel will be the scientific and technical advisors. This will be part one of the submission: what is your solution and how will it work from a technical and scientific point of view?
The second panel will be made up of successful business entrepreneurs. The second part of the submission will be a business plan for your solution. The entrepreneurs will evaluate each solution from an economic and operational perspective. Your solution does not have to turn a profit, but it should generate revenue.
Fifty percent of the proposal will be scored on the technical and scientific portion and fifty percent of the proposal will be scored on the business plan portion of the proposal.
The final panel will be the judges who will take into account presentations from each team making a submission, and from the scores and comments from the technical and scientific advisors as well as the recommendations from entrepreneurs.
The technical and scientific advisory board and the entrepreneur advisor board selection will be announced when the contest rules are published and the contest begins for the best plan to clean the oceans of these foul floating islands of garbage.
Additional points will be awarded for teams willing to put either 25% or 50% of their prize money towards the execution of their plan.
All contestants should be prepared to pitch their solution in person.
The evaluation of each plan will be filmed and a documentary film will be made of the contestants, their plans, their pitches, the panels’ deliberations and the winning plan will be vetted and explained in the documentary.
Once the funds for the prize have been raised and we have completed the contest rules, we will make a series of announcements about the rules of the contest, and when and where the contest will be held.
Phase Two will be to raise the tens of millions of dollars to execute the winning clean-up plan.
Five Million Dollar Prize for a Biodegradable Plastic or a New Biodegradable Material to Replace Plastic.
Estimates are that fishing line takes 600 years to decompose, plastic bags 20 years and plastic bottles 450 years. The winning plan to clean our oceans will be hampered if the oceans are being constantly polluted with new plastics.
Therefore, the Endowment for Clean Oceans is also raising the money for a $5 million prize for whoever invents a commercially viable biodegradable plastic to replace the five most common types of plastics now in use, or invents a new biodegradable materiel that has the same versatility and commercial viability to replace the five most common plastics in use today.
According to National Geographic, there are 4 billion micro fibers of plastic in each and every square kilometer of ocean on Earth or a total of 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic, of which some 269,000 tons are floating.
The 4 billion micro plastic fibers per square kilometer were once larger pieces of plastic that have broken down.
According to: The 2017 United Nations Clean Seas Campaign estimated that there are 51 trillion microplastic particles in the ocean today—500 times more than the number of stars in our galaxy.
The currents in the Pacific Ocean have created a two massive vortexes of plastic garbage floating in the Pacific that are larger than the state of Texas.
The Texas-sized Gyre in the Pacific Ocean is an easy way to communicate the problem, but Five Gyres thinks of the huge floating islands of plastic as a "myth" that "actually perpetuates the plastic pollution problem, positioning it as something that we can sweep up and 'away,' while continuing to use plastic without consequence Five Gyres describes the concentration of plastic floating in the ocean as follows: "There are concentrations of plastic in the gyres, but the material is constantly in the process of breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces, which permeate all waters. In the ocean, plastic is less like an island, and more like smog."
Some parts of our ocean system have been hit harder by the micro plastic soup than others. According to the magazine The Atlantic:
“the Arctic Ocean has become the Northern Hemisphere’s ‘dead end’ for floating plastic…. Our data demonstrate that the marine plastic pollution has reached a global scale after only a few decades using plastic materials,” said Andrés Cózar Cabañas, a biologist at the University of Cádiz.
The Arctic does not so much have trash patches inside it; it is giant trash patch. The Arctic Ocean has about the same median density of plastic as the Atlantic and Pacific do. But unlike in the southern oceans, where plastic has unevenly congregated in certain areas, it has spread itself throughout the entirety of the Arctic.”
And Science Daily reports: “The beaches of one of the world's most remote islands have been found to be polluted with the highest density of plastic debris reported anywhere on the planet, a new study shows. Despite being uninhabited and located more than 5,000 kilometers from the nearest major population center, Henderson Island is littered with an estimated 37.7 million pieces of plastic.”
The first serious effort to advance human endeavors through a prize offering on a global scale, like we are doing now, was the Longitude Act passed by the British Parliament to offer gradational scales of cash prizes for the discovery of a system of navigation in the open ocean, particularly, how to determine a ship’s Longitude. Britain's Parliament "offered a monetary prize of 20,000 pounds (about $12 million today). The prize remained untouched for fifty years." A book about the long history of the Longitude Act, which was in effect from 1714 to 1820, can be found here. Today there is a new Longitude Prize: it is challenge with a £10 million prize fund to reward a diagnostic test that helps solve the problem of global antibiotic resistance. It is being run by Nesta and supported by Innovate UK as funding partner, with 239 teams competing from 41 countries.
The most famous prize for human achievement are the Nobel Prizes which are given out for science, economics and civic advancement annually. The cash award of a Nobel Prize is about $1.2 million.
Among the most famous cash prizes for human achievement was for the first pilot to fly non-stop from New York to Paris or from Paris to New York. It was the Orteig Prize of $25,000 at the time (equivalent to $353,000 in 2017) and it was won by Charles Lindbergh.
More recently, the United States Government Defense Advanced Research Programs Agency (DARPA) has used prizes to solicit ideas and accomplishments in robots, cybersecurity and weapons.
Of course, other environmentally conscious groups have also offered prizes for ideas to reduce waste.
The Endowment for Clean Oceans has an exclusive fundraising relationship with the Foundation for A Clean Earth (FACE).
Private Party and Corporate donations can be wired to our account at Woodsboro Bank:
Bank Account Number: 2004 2966
Routing Number: 055002150
Click here to give by credit or debit card.
Cashier and company checks should be made out to: Endowment for Clean Oceans, and sent to our offices in Washington, D.C.:
Alan Dye, Esq.
Member, Board of Directors
Endowment for Clean Oceans
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
Attention: Melissa Clements
For tax purposes, corporate sponsors may take their donation as either a charitable donation or a business expense.
Corporate sponsors will have their logo prominently displayed here:
Once we have raised the prize money, we will announce the contest time line and the rules.
As we raise the money for the prize, we will be developing the contest rules and working with attorneys and others who have written similar contest rules. We will also be reviewing all the published contest rules we can find to extract the best rules already created and tested for our contest. Here and here are two examples of other similar contest rules.
Compliance with contest rules will be enforced by J. Kevin A. McKechnie, a senior executive with the American Bankers Association who serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Contest Rules Compliance Officer of the Endowment for Clean Oceans.
Our attorney and member of our Board of Directors, Mr. Alan Dye, who is a Partner at Webster, Chamberlain and Bean, one of the foremost non-profit law firms in the United States, will write the contest rules with his colleague and senior counsel, Hiedi Abegg. Should there be any question of an interpretation of the rules during the contest, Mr. Dye will be consulted.
The first test of each contestant’s plan will be its review by the technical and scientific advisory committee. The technical and scientific phase of the evaluation will account for fifty percent of each contestant’s score.
This committee will be made up by experts in various scientific fields and will be highly qualified to make scientific and technical judgements regarding any contestant’s plan. Additional experts may be consulted, depending on the plan.
We have appointed the Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee. The Chair is now recruiting prestigious and accomplished committee members.
We will announce the Chairman and membership of the committee once we have raised the $1 million prize money.
Once the funds for the one-million-dollar prize have been raised, and we have completed the contest rules, we will announce when and where the contest will be judged and the due date for contest submissions.
Sponsors which prefer their representative to serve on either the Science and Technology Committee or the Business Plan Advisory Committee may elect that option, in lieu of being a judge.
Successful entrepreneurs have a history of creating success from a plan.
It is essential that each contestant not only has a winning plan, but can execute their plan and insure it is scalable on across every ocean on Earth.
The business plan advisory committee’s role is to evaluate whether contestants have a serious and viable operations plan. ECO will not hand over the prize money to a contestant who may have a good idea, but does not show they have the people and ability to execute their plan.
This portion of the contest is worth fifty percent of the score.
Once the chairman and the rest of the committee has been appointed, we will announce the committee members.
The judges will be the members of the Board of Directors of the Endowment for Clean Oceans, the Chairman of the Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee, and the Chairman of the Business Plan Advisory Committee.
A donation of a million dollars or more earns the donor a judge’s seat.
Daniel B. Perrin, Founder and CEO of Endowment for Clean Oceans. Mr. Perrin is a health care expert and longtime lobbyist for the American Banker Association’s HSA Council. Mr. Perrin has raised tens of millions of dollars for non-profit and for-profit companies, is a published author and has been quoted in every major newspaper in the United States.
Alan Dye, ECO Board Member, is a long-time non-profit attorney and partner at the firm of Webster, Chamberlain and Bean.
S. Dennis Hoffman, ECO Board Member and Chairman of the Business Plan Advisory Committee that will be evaluating every contestant’s plan from an execution point of view, is a successful entrepreneur who owns more than 15 restaurants mostly in the Washington, D.C. region. Mr. Hoffman is also a founding member of the Baltimore Entrepreneurs Organization.
The Endowment for Clean Oceans will create a documentary of the contestant evaluation process. The top contestants and winner will be featured throughout the documentary.
This documentary will help educate the public and create grassroots support for the funding of the execution of the winning plan.
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