Harbor Island marina first to test new cleaning device

SAN DIEGO – Harbor Island’s Cabrillo Isle Marina now boasts one of the cleanest marinas in the nation.

Nine months ago, it became the first marina in the U.S. to test out a new technology: the Seabin.

“It’s basically a floating trashcan but it has a motor at the bottom to skim the top of the water,” said Tony Reese, marina manager.

Reese showed FOX 5 the worst area of the marina, where trash and debris would routinely collect.

“We called this Scum Alley,” said Reese. “It was so thick through here you could almost walk across it. All the tides and all the winds just push everything down to this end of the basin and then there’s nowhere for it to go from here."

He said his crews would skim the surface several times a day to try to keep the water clean.

“All of it was pretty unsuccessful and every tide would come in and bring in more debris,” said Reese.“Then it would leave it on the rocks for the next tide to bring out.”

Now with the Seabin in place, the water is crystal clear.

“We can get up to 20 pounds per emptying three times a day, so that’s 60 pounds of debris we’re pulling out of the water every day,” said Reese.

“It’s so clean,” said Jeff Wer, who has called Cabrillo Isle Marina his home for the past four years. “I’ve been to many marinas all around San Diego. Most of them, there’s so much trash and the foam, it’s really bad.”

Wer said since the marina started using the Seabin, he’s noticed a big difference.

“It’s a dramatic change,” said Wer. “It’s such a beautiful place to be in."

Cabrillo Isle Marina is planning to install two more Seabins.

Next month, the Seabin will roll out to six other California cities.