Ocean Kickstarter of the Month: Let’s build another trash eating water wheel in Canton!

Help the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore Build a new Water Wheel powered trash interceptor in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood.

Help Fund the Canton Water Wheel.

I love the Baltimore Trashwheel. Let’s build another one.


In all seriousness, if you haven’t heard about the Baltimore Water Wheel, see my first article, or my 1-year recap at Hakai, or my most recent SFS post, or visit Mr. TrashWheel on Twitter. Of all the tech in all the world proposed to clean trash out of our oceans, these water wheels are the only large scale projects that have best tested and vetted against some serious garbage.

They’re asking for $550,000 to build a second one, in Canton at the mouth of the Patapsco River, to collect even more garbage before it reaches the Inner Harbor on its way to the Chesapeake Bay.

Onward to the Ocean Kickstarter criteria!

1. Is it sound, reasonable, and informed by science? These waterwheels have been tested, retested, and redesigned for almost four years now. The folks behind the water wheel are realistic in it’s effectiveness and committed to continuous assessment and improvement. And they have over a year of data to back them up.

2. Is there a clear goal, timeline, and budget; and are they partnering with the people who have experience hitting those marks? This is the second permanent waterwheel built in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor (with an additional prototype wheel awaiting a new home). The waterwheel team knows what they’re doing and knows how to get things done.

3. Do some of the parties involved have a successful record with other crowdfunding projects and experience delivering on rewards. To the best of my knowledge, the team does not have a history of crowdfunding, but they do have an excellent track record of foundation support. They’ve also launched through their own crowdfunding portal, which means that donations to the Water Wheel are tax deductible

The Sea-Factor: It’s a water wheel that eats trash. What’s not to love? It doesn’t just work, it works well. In an ocean of grandiose and ill-conceived ocean cleanup projects, the Trash Wheel stands out as a real solution with a track record of success behind it.

Help Fund the Canton Water Wheel.

Updates from past recommendations.

The Ocean Collection – Recycled Fishing Net Sunglasses finished an extremely strong campaign, topping out at over $180,000. I received my sunglasses in late November.

OpenROV Trident – An Underwater Drone for Everyone crushed Kickstarter, bringing in over $800,000, 1600% of their goal. Tridents ship November 2016.

Sharks4Kids First Book: Meet Norman the Nurse Shark finished strong, raising over $16,000 from the $8500 goal. Well done!

I have no idea what’s going on with The Seabin Project: Cleaning the oceans one marina at a time. They pulled their Kickstarter campaign citing problems with the service, then quickly relaunched on IndieGoGo with minimal fanfare. They are several hundred thousand dollars short of their goal and it is unlikely that they will reach it.