It’s a sad sight. You’re walking along the shore of Hudson River Park and spot a piece of trash floating in the water, disrupting the beautiful scene. But wait! Just a moment later, the trash is gone, snatched up by the park’s new WasteShark as it swims by. The WasteShark, a high-tech tool that can remove hard-to-reach plastic pollution from the water, is the newest member of the River Project team and this new team member needs a name!
Modeled after the whale shark — earth’s biggest fish — the WasteShark is a remote-controlled aquadrone that glides on the surface of the Hudson River. As it skims the water, the machine strains out floating debris and stores it in an inner basket. Once back on land, volunteers empty out the bin and dispose of the trash. The debris collected helps with the park’s ongoing plastic pollution research.
Much of the floating plastic pollution that makes its way to the edges of the Hudson comes from streets and sidewalks. When wastewater treatment plants become overwhelmed, excess untreated water ends up in the river. Once this happens, debris tends to collect on soft shoreline areas where land meets water.
Oftentimes, these pieces of debris are just out of reach. Since 2015, when the River Project team began leading shoreline cleanups, volunteers have tried many collection methods and tools, such as pool skimmers. The new WateShark tool, which can reach areas much further away than arm’s length, will significantly aid clean-up efforts.
But what to call it? In the past, New Yorkers have helped name Hudson River Park oysters, and now you can help name the WasteShark. You can submit your suggested name on this form. Finalists will be chosen by the River Project Team and eventually be put to a public vote. What would you call it?
Next, check out 10 Secrets of Hudson River Park