Marina Trash Skimmers


Removing debris is a big part of the solution, but some of the problem requires innovative technology. In 2016 we launched the Marina Trash Skimmers Project funded by 11th Hour Racing for tackling the growing epidemic of water pollution and marine debris via the Marina Trash Skimmer® (MTS). The MTS was invented by Louis Pasoz in 2000 and designed exclusively for the removal of trash and pollutants at a commercial scale. This project strengthens and expands the current efforts for improving water quality and eliminating marine debris. The goal is to reduce the amount of marine debris in coastal waters, increase the recreational value of the waterfront, bring awareness to the types of re-accumulating debris, and promote environmental stewardship. Since 2016 the program has expanded with installations and plans as listed below. Please contact us if you would like to learn more and get involved.

Map of Marina Trash Skimmer locations

Overview of active efforts

Operations at 8 locations in 2021 – With eight marina trash skimmers deployed from Maryland to Massachusetts, we have an excellent group of operators and partners working together to use the units for daily marine debris removal, and education and outreach events throughout the season. The units are deployed in April and are operational through late November, with seasonal storage from December to March.

Implementation of Additional Skimmers throughout the Northeast- We are looking for locations that have a recurring marine debris problem, operators that can operate the unit daily, and partners who can perform education and outreach at the skimmer throughout the entire season. We are glad to announce that another skimmer was installed at Brayton Point in Somerset, MA on World Oceans Day in June 2021. We hope to continue to expand the reach of the program for maximum impact. 

Education and Outreach –  Our education and outreach activities are aligned with our community scientist efforts so that a hands-on student-led experience can have the greatest chance of fostering environmentally responsible behaviors and promoting stewardship in our community via action. For complete information about education and outreach opportunities, please visit our education page.

Analytics and Reporting – Data becomes information and information becomes knowledge that informs our decision making to address the problem of marine debris. With results since 2016 we have amassed an insightful data set that empowers our organization. All of our data is available for the public and our annual Marina Trash Skimmers report can be found on our reports page.

Advocacy – Our main goal is to bring about systemic change is to connect the community with the environment, educating, inspiring, and empowering to foster environmentally responsible behaviors. However, some forms of marine debris will require advocacy and policy. For complete information please visit our advocacy action page.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Marina Trash Skimmers are stationary collection devices that are easily attached to any powered floating dock. The units operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week, drawing water through its intake doors via a 3⁄4 horsepower motor. Skimmer pump circulates 375 gallons of water per minute and effectively traps floating inorganic material. The Marina Trash Skimmer technology collects debris ranging in sizes from micro particles to water bottles to large wooden planks. In addition to debris removal, each unit is equipped with an aerator to help oxygenate the surrounding water, helping to emulsifying and concentrate gases and oil. Free-floating organic material that is inevitably trapped within the system serves as a natural sponge removing these toxic pollutants.
Marina Trash Skimmer pumps require 30 AMP 120V of electrical power. The units are estimated to use 13 Kwh/day, which is equivalent to about a dollar. Skimmers do also have the ability to operate via solar power.
Marina Trash Skimmers create a surface current that is strong enough to pull in free-floating debris but is not able to trap marine life. Curious creatures can make their way inside the unit and can easily find their way out. However, planktonic wanders like Jellyfish will get stuck; units are temporally turned off while they pass.
Are you interested in a Marina Trash Skimmer for your dock? Fill out this form, and we will be in touch soon! Interest form  


In 2021, our Marina Trash Skimmer program accomplished the following:      

                        7                                                 7,004                                                          11,610
skimmers in operation    pounds of debris removed     items of debris documented


Thank you to our Marina Trash Skimmer Project Sponsors

Our Marina Trash Skimmer program is made possible because of the generous support of the community and our business sponsors. Thank you for believing in our mission.