Hawaii & Alaska
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Huge trash-collecting boom heads to the Big Island for fix

HILO, HAWAII - A trash collection device that broke apart while deployed in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii was scheduled to arrive to the Big Island on Sunday.

The 2,000-foot (600-meter) long floating boom was being towed to Hilo after its support crew discovered that a structural malfunction had caused an 18-meter section to detach late last month, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported .

The U-shaped barrier was towed in September from San Francisco to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — an island of trash twice the size of Texas. The barrier is intended to act like a coastline to trap pieces of plastic swirling in the patch while allowing marine life to safely swim beneath it.

The harbors division was coordinating with The Ocean Cleanup organization, said Tim Sakahara, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

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