Clear Blue Sea was founded in July 2016 by a small group of volunteers who realized new robotic technology could be applied to help solve the ocean plastics crisis. During this startup phase, we initially worked out of our homes, garages, driveways, and later on college campuses, to design and develop initial prototypes of FRED, our Floating Robot for Eliminating Debris. Now that we are building a larger 16-foot marine robot prototype we call “FRED Jr.”, we needed a larger collaborative space for our STEM student interns and volunteers to work more effectively as integrated project teams.
This past summer we had over 80 student interns, mentored by a dozen or so expert volunteers, collaborating on many initiatives including engineering design, scientific research, community and educational outreach, social media, marketing, videography, grant writing, finance, personnel management, and business development, all in support of getting FRED designed and built for testing by the end of the year. We are excited to announce we have finally found a warehouse located off Miramar Road that is big enough to hold FRED prototypes but also serve as a mini business office for our other nonprofit functions, and we plan to move in later this year. Soon all of our students and volunteers will have one centralized place to meet and get work done, and we expect this will increase productivity and help keep us on schedule per our phased program approach.