Watch the First Seabin Deep Dive

Interested in volunteering for a deep dive? Contact Owen at inspectorseabin@sourcesofknowledge.ca

What is Inspector Seabin?

Inspector Seabin is a garbage bin for the water.

Much like its counterparts on land, the Inspector helps keep garbage out of the environment by intercepting trash that has made its way into the water ecosystem.

Garbage is collected in a mesh bag that floats in the seabin, where it is trapped until volunteers come and collect it.

There are currently three Inspector Seabins in Fathom Five National Marine Park in Tobermory, Ontario.

Inspector Seabin is at work from mid-May to mid-September.

What does a seabin collect?

Inspector Seabin is able to collect a variety of trash. Its mesh catch bag can hold large items like 500mL plastic bottles and small items like plastic pieces, film fragments, and cigarette butts. The seabin can collect micro-plastics as small as 2mm.

It also collects organic material, like algae or leaves, that may be contaminated with chemicals.

The Inspector’s mesh bag can hold up to 20 kg of litter.

By The Numbers: 2022 Inspector Seabin Project

122 days

Project Duration

1.2 kg

Total Plastic Debris Collected

1110

Number of Small Items Collected

1200

Number of Large Items Collected

How does Inspector Seabin work?

Seabins skim the water, floating up and down with the currents and wind patterns. Water is pumped through the bin, which pulls the litter into it when it approaches the lid. Seabins work best in calm water.

Seabin a trash "skimmer" in the water created by the Seabin™. It is a data led clean-tech start-up and it filters the water garbage where it collects an average of 3.9kgs of garbage per day with an ambitious goal of cleaning up 100 cities by 2050. © Seabin™ Archives

How can I keep plastic out of waterways?

Everyone knows that loose trash is terrible; what a lot of people don’t know is how terrible it is. Especially plastics. Plastic pollution has a big impact on the world in many ways – the chemicals they release, the effect it has on wildlife big and small, its impact locally in our Great Lakes and its impact globally on climate change. We want to help combat the pollution any way we can, and we’d like your help! Click here for articles and resources about plastic pollution.

Photo Credit: Kampus Production

Participate in a Cleanup

There are several organisations that run volunteer cleanups in the Tobermory area.

Keep the Bruce Clean and Green runs regular cleanups. For more information please visit their Facebook page.

Peninsula Bruce Trail Club is focused on keeping the trail clean with a recent focus on removing cigarette butts, which can now be recycled.

The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation organizes cleanups up and down the shoreline.

Photo Credit: PlanetCare

Filter Microfibres Out of Your Laundry Water

In Parry Sound, Ontario, Georgian Bay Forever worked with University of Toronto graduate student, Lisa Erdle to see 100 households install the Filtrol filter on their washing machines to remove microfibres before they were washed down the drain. They found that the filter removed a lot of fibres (and other microplastics!) from the wastewater. Click here for details of the project.

In 2020, several washing machines in Bruce Peninsula National Park facilities in Tobermory, Ontario were also modified with Filtrol filters.

To learn more about Filtrol filters at filtrol.net

Photo Credit: Sarah Chai

Choose Reusable Products

Reusable products are those with materials that are subsequently used in their original form for the same or similar purpose such as, but not limited to: used furniture, clothing, toys, bicycles, books, household items, tools, etc.

Another way to envision this is through the concept of the circular economy. In our current economy, we take materials from the Earth, make products from them, and eventually throw them away as waste – the process is linear. In a circular economy, by contrast, we stop waste being produced in the first place. Click here to learn more.

Inspector Seabin Activity Sheets

Download activity sheets for use at home or in the classroom!

Seabin Plans for 2023

The Sources of Knowledge Seabin project will move into year two in 2023. Plans are still being finalized but we hope to move one of our three Seabins to the marina in Lion’s Head, down the peninsula, to learn more about water quality there while raising public awareness about plastics in the Great Lakes. Potential partners include Bruce Peninsula District School and Bruce Peninsula Environment Group.

We will continue to monitor two Seabins in the Tobermory Harbours, part of Fathom Five National Marine Park in cooperation with Parks Canada and Bruce District Parks. Specifically, we hope to increase our public awareness campaign about the perils of plastics in the Great Lakes.

Volunteer with Inspector Seabin

Do you want to help out Inspector Seabin? Sign up today to volunteer for the daily checks and deep dives! These checks will be scheduled amongst the team of volunteers based on availability within the group.

Contact Owen and the Inspector for more details at inspectorseabin@sourcesofknowledge.ca

Inspector Seabin News and Initiatives

Next Seabin Project Deep Dive: 2023 (Dates TBD)

Thanks to everyone who volunteered to help with the 2022 Inspector Seabin Deep Dives!

Interested in participating in 2023? Please email Owen at inspectorseabin@sourcesofknowledge.ca

Seabin Project article in the Bruce Peninsula Press

Seabin Project Monitors Plastic Pollution at 21 Locations Around Georgian Bay by John Francis (June 15, 2022)

What is the Inspector Seabin Citizen Science Project?

The Sources of Knowledge (SoK) board – in partnership with Inspector Seabin, Parks Canada & Friends of the Bruce District Parks – launched the three-year Inspector Seabin citizen science project in 2022 to retrieve, categorize, and quantify debris collected in three Seabins located in Fathom Five National Marine Park in Tobermory, Ontario. The project season runs from mid-May to mid-September each year.

Contact the Inspector Seabin Project

Have a question? Interested in volunteering? We’d love to hear from you!

Email us at inspectorseabin@sourcesofknowledge.ca or use the contact form.