#TeamSeas and Their Efforts Toward Ocean Conservation

TeamSeas was a project started by Mark Rober, vlogger and former engineer at NASA, and Jimmy Donaldson, also known as Mr. Beast, philanthropist and YouTuber. They collaborated to raise money to remove 30 million pounds of trash from the ocean by the end of 2021. This project was in continuation of another project that occurred last year, where the two raised money to plant 20 million trees instead. Both years, their projects have been successful and are continuing to raise money and awareness regarding environmental issues that are urgent today.

TeamSeas started on October 29th and continued through to December 31st. On these dates, Mr. Beast and Mark had both uploaded videos on their respective YouTube channels introducing the project and outlining some of the tech and methods that were going to be used to remove the trash. For Mr. Beast’s video, he gathered numerous volunteers and made them collect trash on the world’s dirtiest beach in the Dominican Republic for around four days, ultimately gathering 60,000 pounds of trash. On Mark’s channel, he talked about the incinerator, an automated robot that could take in the trash at the surface of bodies of water 24/7. They stated that every donated one dollar would turn into one pound of trash removed from the ocean. Half of the money raised would fund trash pick-up volunteer groups, while the rest would go to an organization called The Ocean Clean Up to maintain and run their robots. The website states that the clean-up work will go on for three years from 2022.

The people working behind TeamSeas understand that a problem like plastic pollution in the ocean is only part of a much larger problem. Therefore, they have done their best to ensure they are as thorough as possible with their efforts. First, they have partnered with the Ocean Conservancy’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative to collect ghost gear or fishing equipment like nets that have made their way to the bottoms of oceans, clogging up reef ecosystems, and more. The incinerator would be anchored at the most polluted rivers around the world. 80% of the trash in the ocean comes from 1% of all rivers, primarily the heavily trashed ones. It works by having the trash hit a barrier that extends from the machine. After, it slowly brings the trash towards a conveyer belt and lands it in a dumpster. It only picks up things at the surface, meaning that all fish and wildlife can continue to thrive undisturbed.

Towards the last few days of 2021, there had still been four million dollars remaining to reach the goal, which was when Austin Russell, billionaire, and CEO of Luminar Technologies, pitched in. Other contributors who made significant impacts were Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, with $350,000, and YouTube Originals separately with four hundred thousand dollars. Patreon, another website creators use to give their viewers exclusive paid content, was also able to donate five hundred thousand dollars. TeamSeas was also able to gather most of its traction through social media, where YouTubers and influencers created content with the hashtag #TeamSeas and had their links to the fundraiser in their video descriptions.

With another project like TeamSeas now under Mr. Beast and Mark Robers’ belt, many people continue to express hope in influencers doing more philanthropy work to make a difference in the world. From avid viewers of the two to people everywhere, people have shown their interest as both videos have amassed approximately a collective 80 million views. We can only wait for what new project will come this year.