Understanding Microplastic Marine Pollution With Citizen Science Partnerships

Publication Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Plastic marine debris is found in coastal and marine waters worldwide. There has been an increase in the study of microplastics, synthetic polymers < 5 mm, throughout the world. Researchers at the Center for Urban Waters, University of Washington Tacoma have collaborated with Service Education Adventure (SEA) and Sound Experience, local boat-based environmental education groups in Puget Sound, Washington, to collect environmental samples and educate participants on marine debris environmental issues, specifically microplastics. Both groups were trained on how to collect microplastics in the field using a modified manta net, sending the samples to the Center for Urban Waters for analysis. Undergraduate student researchers participated in the program through assisting in training, demonstrating collection on vessels, and processing samples in the laboratory. This presentation will review the progress of development of these relationships, benefits of each group’s contributions, and challenges met during the partnerships.

Publication Title

Citizen Science as a Tool for Conservation

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