The NOAA Ship Rainier is designed and outfitted primarily for conducting hydrographic surveys in support of nautical charting. The ship operates off the U.S. Pacific Coast, and in Alaskan coastal waters. The Rainier is named for Mount Rainier.
The "garbage patch" is a popular name for concentrations of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean. While this phrase is popularly used, it does not paint an accurate picture of the marine debris problem in this region.