The Ocean Cleanup Interceptor
A graphic rendering of what the Interceptor 007 could look like moored in Ballona Creek

Ashlee Ellsworth

Logistics Project Manager for The Ocean Cleanup

As 2022 begins, it’s already been a whirlwind of activity within The Ocean Cleanup. Jenny (System 002) is continuing to do great things in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the plans for System 003 scale-up are well under way, and multiple rivers projects are finally getting their chance to shine as we work towards eliminating plastics from the world’s biggest waterways.
One of the most exciting projects for me personally is the realization of a project that has been years in the making: the Los Angeles Interceptor, aptly dubbed Interceptor 007. The pilot project was signed into agreement with the LA County Flood Control District in November of 2019, and after months of setbacks, is finally on track for deployment later this year. But what makes it such an exciting project? Several factors:

  • 007 will be transported to its final destination fully assembled. In collaboration with the Maersk Special Project Logistics team, we are arranging for the entire Interceptor to be lifted via cradle system onto a part-chartered vessel in Malaysia, sailed to Los Angeles, then off-loaded to a local storage location before final deployment in Ballona Creek/Marina del Rey. With go-live scheduled for early Q4, we’re going to be just in time for the 2022 storm season.
  • The willingness of various local groups to help with the project. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a community to launch an Interceptor. There are always challenges with projects on this scale, but what is so stirring about the 007 story is the vast number of local entities who were - and are - so willing to assist in helping make this project a success.
  • And finally, on a more selfish note, I was born and raised in California. It’s incredible to have the first Interceptor in the United States operating in my home state, but even more exciting to know that in the coming year I’ll have the chance to go see it in action (and sneak in a lunch or two at In-n-Out while I’m there).

With the go-live date looming closer and closer, there’s still plenty of work to be done to get ready for Interceptor 007, but to wrap up in the words of another famous 007, “I think he got the point” —Sean Connery, Thunderball.

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