Poster Abstracts



Track: Derelict Fishing Gear


1. Determining Effectiveness of Dungeness Crab Escapement in Derelict Traps Commonly used in the Washington Waters of the Salish Sea | presenting: Kyle Antonelis (Natural Resources Consultants, Inc.); authors: Kyle Antonelis (Natural Resources Consultants, Inc.), Joan Drinkwin (Natural Resources Consultants, Inc.), Jason Morgan (Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Foundation), Paul Rudell (Natural Resources Consultants, Inc.)

The prevalence and impacts of derelict Dungeness crab traps in the Washington waters of the Salish Sea (WASS) have been well documented. Several efforts have been made to reduce trap loss, extract accumulated traps, and reduce the impacts of traps that become derelict. To minimize crab mortality in lost traps, fisheries co-managers require that traps have escape hatches secured with biodegradable escape cord. When properly equipped with escape cord, a derelict trap becomes “disabled” upon escape cord degradation, allowing an egress route for entrapped crab to escape. However, among the multiple trap designs commonly used in the region, the effectiveness of escapement varies. Data collected during derelict crab trap retrievals in the WASS has documented continued crab mortality in some traps even after disintegration of escape cord. A laboratory experiment simulating derelict traps was conducted to analyze the escapement effectiveness of 13 trap designs, some equipped with simple modifications. The least successful trap designs in allowing crab escapement were those with escape routes that require crab to push open a door situated on the topside of the trap, offset from the edge. The traps most successful at allowing crab escapement were those that provided an unobstructed escape panel either on the wall of the trap or along the edge of the topside of the trap. Traps that are not initially designed with this feature can be easily modified by detaching one escape ring, and re-attaching it with escape cord. The opening in the trap following escape cord degradation from the ring falling to the seafloor allows crab to freely escape. Results have informed crab fisheries management discussions, and an outreach program aimed at encouraging the manufacturing and use of more effective designs is currently being implemented.



2. Clean Sea Life and ROVs in the fight against lost fishing gear | presenting: Eleonora de Sabata (MedSharks/Save our Seas); authors: Eleonora de Sabata (MedSharks/Save our Seas), Simona Clò (MedSharks/Save our Seas)

Abandoned, lost or discarded fish gear (ALDFG) constitute a potential stress to the marine environment represented by ghost fishing mortality, silting or smothering marine biota, creating a physical barrier for migrating benthic species and contributing to the introduction of synthetic compounds into marine ecosystems. ALDFG removal is usually a complex and potentially hazardous activity.

In October 2017 Clean Sea LIFE – a marine litter project co-funded by the European Union’s LIFE programme, run by the Asinara National Park – carried out an experimental activity to remove a deepwater ghost net using a standard commercial Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The ROV was operated by members of Associazione Italiana Sommozzatori Corallari; operations were coordinated by Clean Sea Life partner MedSharks and was supervised by the Italian Coast Guard.

The ROV identified a 150 meter-long lobster net lost at 80m of depth in Sardinia, Italy (central Mediterranean sea). After an assessment of the conditions of the net and environmental impact of removal operations, the ROV connected a grappling hook to the ghost net. A float carried a rope to the surface, where the lost net was then recovered with a fishing boat. A short film of the operation can be seen here:

This successful attempt at deepwater net removal using ROV was, to the best of our knowledge, the first of its kind – at least in Italy. It allowed for the successful removal of a net – that at that depth would have effectively been lost forever – with relative ease, high safety for operators and almost no environmental impact. Following this successful test, we are seeking funding to further test, develop and disseminate this methodology to collect and remove ALDFG.



Track: Removal


3. New Skimming Vessel | presenting: Eric Dieters (Trash Skimming Boat); authors: Eric Dieters (Trash Skimming Boat)

I have created a new type of skimming vessel. I have a Utility Patent on my boats methods and skimming device. My new way of skimming gets both large items and micro debris. My system is a one man operation. I can custom build each boat to fit the needs of each customer or water way that the boat is skimming in.

I am currently in the final stages and working out the details of my pilot project/ skimming contract with the Port of San Diego. I have been selected by the Port to demonstrate and test my vessel in San Diego Bay. I will be collecting data on how much trash my vessel can gather and the volume of debris that is in the water etc. I will have current metrics of my collections for the debris convention in March.


4. A Gallon in Every Foot: Innovative Strategies for Removing Creosote-Treated Wood and Large Debris from the Salish Sea. | presenting: Kristian Tollefson (WA-DNR); authors: Kristian Tollefson (WA-DNR)

For the Salish Sea and Washington State’s inner-coastal waterway, pollution from wood preservatives and Styrofoam are a seasonal expectation, with every winter storm creating an opportunity for large, often derelict structures to break free from their original locations, and to migrate over-water to an unsuspecting, defenseless shoreline. Hundreds of toxic objects break free every year, including recreational, commercial, and industrial docks, submarine-net floats, aquaculture-related infrastructure and detritus, creosote-treated pilings, dolphins, piers, and bulkheads, wave-attenuators, and the occasional, untraceable, grounded vessel. Each of these objects presents its own set of unique challenges to the marine debris removal professional, and special consideration is necessary for each clean-up project.

Washington Dept. of Natural Resources began tracking and removing large debris in 2004, and has continued to expand its operation ever since. Our project has developed some new and interesting ways to both remove and safely dispose of large marine debris items, and will discuss these methods in detail in our 6IMDC Poster Presentation. Since our project’s beginning, we have removed nearly 8 million pounds of diffuse, large debris from Washington shoreline, utilizing almost every conceivable tool available during the process. Our intention in presenting is to bring awareness to the issues these unconventional, and always cumbersome, forms of marine debris cause, and to inform others on practical solutions for safely removing them.



5. Challenges of addressing marine debris removal in protected areas | presenting: Joanne Delaney (NOAA Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary); authors: Joanne Delaney (NOAA Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary)

Marine debris is a persistent problem in nearshore, coastal systems that can result in significant impacts to sensitive species and habitats. But a one-size-fits-all removal approach may not address the intricacies of debris retrieval in marine protected areas, where multiple laws and protections must be considered. In the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), derelict vessels and vessel debris litter remote, sandy beaches that serve as foraging and resting habitat for protected bird species and support nesting by threatened sea turtle species. Seagrass patches are found growing over defunct cables and concrete stabilizing mats in an underwater corridor connecting mainland utilities to a resort island. And stony corals of various species have colonized sunken debris in shallow, nearshore waters such as failed seawalls and docks, tires, pipes, wooden boards, and other materials. Given the extent of development along the Florida Keys shoreline, abandoned materials compromise aesthetics and contribute to habitat degradation in the sanctuary. NOAA FKNMS staff are working to develop consistent practices for marine debris removal within a region that supports complex species protections and regulatory frameworks.



Track: Prevention


6. A global community dedicated to bringing a permanent end to pinniped entanglements: The Pinniped Entanglement Group (PEG) | presenting: Kim Raum-Suryan (NMFS Alaska Region, Protected Resources Division); authors: Kim Raum-Suryan (NMFS Alaska Region, Protected Resources Division), Lauri Jemison (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), Kate Savage (NMFS Alaska Region, Protected Resources Division), Sue Goodglick (Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game), Mike Williams (NMFS Alaska Region, Protected Resources Division)

Marine debris is a global concern affecting at least 200 marine species in the world’s oceans. The entanglement of marine mammals in all forms of marine debris is increasingly recognized as a serious source of human-caused mortality for marine mammal populations including pinnipeds. Marine debris most commonly associated with pinniped entanglements include plastic packing bands, fishing nets, monofilament line, rope, crab traps, and wide rubber bands. Entangling debris may cause death, injury, or increased energy expenditure. Responding to pinniped entanglement is limited to a small group of trained people. We must all work together to prevent pinniped entanglement in marine debris. To provide increased global collaboration and communication among scientists, non-government organizations, non-profits, and others, the Pinniped Entanglement Group (PEG) was created in 2009. The PEG collaborates to reduce pinniped entanglements in marine debris and fishing gear through education, outreach, and rescue. The PEG interacts through quarterly phone calls, newsletters, a google group, and in workshops. Outreach materials have included brochures, harbor signs, messages in tide books, posters, public service announcements on TV and radio, bumper stickers, and video. Our aim is to continue to grow PEG globally and we welcome new members dedicated to the safety and welfare of pinnipeds.



7. Microplastic extraction from biolids: method comparison and validation | presenting: Kathryn Berry (RMIT Univeristy); authors: Kathryn Berry (RMIT Univeristy), Phoebe Lewis (RMIT University), Brad Clarke (RMIT University)

Microplastics are a contaminant of emerging interest and international concern. Wastewater discharge is considered an important source of microplastics into the aquatic environment with estimates of 1 – 610 microplastics L-1 entering wastewater treatment facilities each day. Throughout wastewater treatment stages (primary, secondary, tertiary), microplastics can sink out of the water column via sedimentation and flocculation processes, becoming a component of sewage sludge. An estimated 99% of microplastics in wastewater can be removed during various stages of the wastewater treatment process. Dry, mature sewage sludge is referred to as biosolids, which may be used in land applications and carbon sequestration. However, the potential environmental impacts of microplastic contaminated biosolids remains poorly understood. The extraction of microplastics from complex biological media, such as biosolids, has resulted in a lack of standardized methods for extraction. Extraction techniques are inconsistent in the literature and many methodologies lack adequate validation procedures such as the calculation of recovery rates for a suite of polymer and microfiber types. In this presentation, I will compare the three most commonly used methods for microplastic extraction from biosolids: density separation, digestion followed by filtration, and digestion followed by density separation and filtration. The most efficient extraction method of microplastics from biosolids, in terms of recovery rates, cost and time, will be discussed.



8. Field measurements to quantify microplastics from effluent and urban runoff in the San Francisco Bay | presenting: Diana Lin (San Francisco Estuary Institute); authors: Diana Lin (San Francisco Estuary Institute), Meg Sedlak (San Francisco Estuary Institute), Rebecca Sutton (San Francisco Estuary Institute), Alicia Gilbreaeth (San Francisco Estuary Institute), Carolynn Box (5 Gyres Institute), Xia Zhu (University of Toronto), Chelsea Rochman (University of Toronto), Yee Donald (San Francisco Estuary Institute)

Treated wastewater effluent and stormwater runoff are suspected to be two of the most important pathways for microplastics and microfibers to enter the San Francisco Bay. The Bay is an important ecosystem surrounded by a dense urban population and industrial land uses, and therefore vulnerable to contamination from land-based sources. This study presents field measurements that quantify and characterize microplastics from effluent and urban surface runoff in the region. Microplastic particles were collected from the effluent of eight wastewater treatment plants, employing varying treatment technologies to calculate first order estimates of microplastic loads from effluent discharges into the Bay. At least two 24-hour composite samples were collected from each facility. Stormwater samples from 15 sites representing both urban and undeveloped spaces in the San Francisco Bay region were collected during rain events in 2016 and 2017. Using a newly developed field technique, samples were composited from multiple sips collected over the course of the storm. Microplastics were identified and quantified using optimized analytical methods. Discussion of sample results and increased understanding of the predominant types of microplastics and microfibers discharged into the Bay will support identification of microplastic sources and inform development and prioritization of source control solutions for this emerging contaminant.



9. Targeting a Source of Marine Litter: A Social Marketing Approach to Reducing the Mass Release of Balloons | presenting: Kathleen Register (Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program); authors: Virginia Witmer (Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program), Kathleen Register (Clean Virginia Waterways of Longwood University), Laura McKay (Virginia Coastal Zone Mangement Program)

The Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan included an action to design and implement a social marketing campaign targeting behaviors that will reduce a harmful type of marine litter: balloons. Partners in Virginia conducted extensive research to better understand who plans balloon release events – and, most importantly, why. Research included media reports of balloon releases, analysis of wedding blogs and social media, a public survey, interviews and focus groups. Research informed design of a social marketing campaign to reduce balloon releases at weddings. The campaign-Joyful Send-off-“sells” a positive behavior-joyful, picture-perfect, and litter-free send-off alternatives to balloon releases. The goal is that couples will learn that all released balloons become litter, and will not organize or participate in a balloon release in the years to come. Researchers spoke with brides about what a send-off ceremony means to them, and then conducted message testing to refine a strategy that would be effective at reaching couples. The strategy includes behavioral prompts at the time and place couples are making a decision about what type of send-off their ceremony will include, a request for a commitment to select an alternative to balloon releases, and vivid, captivating multi-media with other couples sharing their own experiences. The campaign message is conveyed by wedding experts, a credible source for engaged couples. Pre-campaign research was comprehensive so that it not only informed Joyful Send-off, but laid a foundation for other strategies to reduce balloon releases during celebratory and memorial events–engaging other non-traditional audiences including funeral homes, car dealerships, sports teams and schools. Partners also considered the transferability of the campaign research and strategy to other states.



10. Killing them with Kindness | Finding New Ways to Educate and Engage Cigarette Smokers | presenting: Dara Schoenwald (; authors: Dara Schoenwald (, Dave Doebler (

This is a case study in new and effective approaches for engaging cigarette smokers and educating them about the harmful effects of cigarette butt litter on the marine environment.

Most of us probably know that cigarettes are the number one most littered item in the world. And we probably also know that they are made of plastic and are not biodegradable. But the smokers we need to reach may not know that, and they don’t know what happens when they litter their butts.

In order to effectively reach and engage our target audiences, we need to new ways to get the message out. Some strategies to reach smokers have focused on telling them what not to do (don’t litter) or shaming them, which causes them to disengage. Instead, we used the iterative design thinking process, and social theories of reciprocity to come up with an alternative, more empathetic approach. By proactively providing smokers with a reusable pocket ashtray “gift” that is also educational, they are more receptive to the message and more likely to feel obligated to use it in order to return the favor, compared to other approaches. Additional tactics like humor will also be discussed.

As part of the case study, we will review the social theoretical frameworks relevant to this approach, present an overview of the design thinking process, and discuss the benefit of using it for this kind of problem-solving.



11. Preventing MD with New Apps and Maps: Better Data Defines High Priority Areas and Actions | presenting: CJ Reynolds (University of South Florida); authors: CJ Reynolds (University of South Florida), Frank Muller-Karger (University of South Florida), Hannah Torres (University of Central Florida), Pat Deplasco (Keep Pinellas Beautiful)

To prevent aquatic or marine debris, it is essential that communities and local governments understand the primary sources/causes of litter and the pathways by which “trash travels” and enters specific watersheds. Municipalities are adding new GIS based aps and stormwater maps to their marine debris prevention tool box to collect data on upland litter and define actions. This session will review two new free tools, processes and municipal effort to prevent marine debris. In 2015, Keep Pinellas Beautiful and the USF College of Marine Science worked with the City of St. Petersburg Stormwater and Engineering Departments to develop a process for KPB and local governments to diagnose conditions, define probable sources and root causes of litter for specific “high priority” locations, and develop targeted community engagement programs. The pilot was a part of the Clean Community Clean Coast project supported by a NOAA Marine Debris Prevention grant. To support KPB’s practices, USF created an open-source tool, based on criteria and metrics in the Keep America Beautiful Litter Index and the Florida DEP’s “Walk the Waterbody” program. The team reviewed storm drain and street maps to define watershed flow and selected 15 sites. The teams assessed the sites and entered data into smart phones: defining type of litter, drain conditions, nearby buildings, bins and transit stations. The program was repeated in 2016 and in 2017, KPB expanded to five cities. In Philadelphia, the Mayor issued an executive order to develop a data-driven, coordinated action plan to reduce litter in the streets and landfills. The Philly team also developed a GIS tool based on KAB metrics and a website. These easy-to-use GIS apps, maps and better data enables cities and partners to determine specific actions and prevention–oriented engagement strategies.



12. Upper River Outreach Strategy to Decrease Plastic Marine Debris | presenting: Teruo Otsuka (ISLANDS4KIDS); authors: Karin Otsuka (ISLANDS4KIDS), Teruo Otsuka (ISLANDS4KIDS)

BAOTecS (Broad Area Outreach Technology Study) is a web-based educational program developed in the efforts to decrease the volume of plastics flowing into river systems around the world. This “Upper River Outreach Strategy to Decrease Plastic Marine Debris” is operated by our non-profit organization, “ISLANDS4KIDS”. Our outreach program is dedicated to educating children and young adults worldwide, especially those living by upper streams, riverside towns, and cities that are hundreds, even thousands of miles inland from the ocean. At upperstream areas, trash is generally visible, reachable, collectible and disposable at lower costs. For our outreach efforts to connect to millions of young people across the globe, we are implementing a cross generational communication method to increase the input of information tochildren.

To overcome this obstacle, we are developing BAOTecS to create customized online study courses and curriculums to be utilized by classrooms and individuals. Currently, we have two programs: K – 6, 7 – 12; each with a course curriculum, activities, and resources. Lessons begin with an encompassing curriculum of marine debris and then delve into the source of debris. Through offering activities and discussion questions, BAOTecS is intended on building critical thinking skills for children to develop their own thoughts and be encouraged to pour their creativity in discovering innovative solutions to establish proactive measures of preventing debris from entering into rivers and streams.



13. On-going participation of bathing beach users in marine litter prevention – preliminary results | presenting: Galia Pasternak (Department of Maritime Civilizations, The Leon H. Charney School for Marine Sciences, University of Haifa); authors: Galia Pasternak (Department of Maritime Civilizations, The Leon H. Charney School for Marine Sciences, University of Haifa), Michelle Portman (Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology), Yasmin Yotam (Department of industrial design, Hansen, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design), Ron Nuassbaum (Environmental Studies, The Porter School of Environmental Studies, Tel Aviv University)

Marine litter damages marine habitats, flora and fauna, impacts negatively on human health and the economy and destroys the aesthetic quality of the coast. More than half of the litter on the Israeli beaches is deposed of by holidaymakers and bathers. Therefore, it is important to find ways to encourage non-littering norms and behaviors that address the marine litter problem at its source, rather than depending exclusively on ‘end-of-pipe’ interventions such as beach cleaning by employed cleaners or volunteer groups. Descriptive norm is what is typically done in a given setting, whereas injunctive norm is what a particular culture approves or disapproves of. Research has shown that activation of a descriptive norm only reduces littering in a clean environment, and actually increases littering in a littered environment. Activating an injunctive norm has the potential to motivate anti-littering behavior in a littered environment, assuming the relevant anti-littering norm exists. Related to these understandings are physical design messages and particularly the assumption that trash can design can influence on-going participation of bathing beach users in litter prevention. At the same time, trash cans designs must also consider physical challenges characteristic of the bathing beach milieu: e.g., transportation, weather, maintenance, and budget related constraints.

The main objective of the research described here is to identify the elements of beach trash receptacle developed through persuasive product design principles. We have developed two prototype trash cans based on literature from three fields: waste management, environmental behavior and product design, and based on interviews with Israeli bathing beach managers and professionals (at the municipal-level) about possible designs and beach litter waste removal.



14. Extended Producer Responsibility as a Tool to Reduce Plastic Marine Debris – A British Columbia Case Study | presenting: Lucas Harris (Memorial University of Newfoundland); authors: Lucas Harris (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

As a regulatory instrument, extended producer responsibility policy (EPR) has the ability to address plastic marine debris through preventing waste from being formed in the first place (i.e. source reduction), and by reducing leakage into the environment through funding, creating or expanding infrastructure for postconsumer recycling. EPR is a waste management policy approach in which a producer’s responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of a product’s life cycle, which provides incentives to producers to incorporate environmental considerations in the design of their products and reduces the amount of waste generated and going to landfill. However, there has been minimal research on EPR’s effectiveness to drive source reduction of packaging waste and reduce packaging leakage into the marine environment. A thorough analysis of shoreline pollution levels in a coastal jurisdiction that has introduced EPR legislation for packaging waste is needed to determine if EPR is a viable solution for plastic marine debris reduction. This research focuses on British Columbia (BC) as a case study, given that it is the first and only coastal jurisdiction in North America to implement a 100% industry-funded EPR program for packaging in 2014. This research will use existing citizen science shoreline cleanup data as the primary data sets for analysis. The objective of this research is to determine how the introduction of packaging EPR policy in BC has affected plastic packaging waste levels on shorelines.



15. Cast Away at Sea: Key Elements and Best Practices for Designing Model Legislation Aimed at Reducing Marine Debris | presenting: Selina Lee-Andersen (McCarthy Tetrault LLP); authors: Selina Lee-Andersen (McCarthy Tetrault LLP)

Advances in plastics technology have provided untold benefits to consumers over the years and opened up an array of consumer goods to people around the world. However the availability of cheap plastic, coupled with a throw-away mentality, is leading to unintended consequences for our oceans and their supporting ecosystems, i.e. ubiquitous plastics of considerable persistence in the marine environment. Given that a significant amount of plastics that end up in the oceans enter through riverways, the issue needs to be tackled upstream through better life cycle management of plastic packaging and waste. As a result, many local initiatives have proliferated which are designed to achieve product-specific source reductions through both regulatory and educational means. From bans on plastic bags and microbeads, to the voluntary phase-out of polystyrene and the push towards compostable packaging, communities are building expertise on source reduction strategies for marine debris. This session will consider the key elements of an effective regulatory system for managing plastic waste, in particular single-use plastic products. By drawing on success stories and best practices from around the world, there is an opportunity to develop model legislation for reducing marine debris that will incentivize the transition from a throw-away society to a more sustainable one, while providing consistent regulatory standards. What would such model legislation look like? This session will also explore practical strategies for industry to support efforts to reduce the consumption of non-durable plastic products, as well the potential scope of a voluntary code guided by industry best practices.



Track: Education & Communication


16. Ocean Gratitude: nourishing and restoring our relationship to the ocean as a solution to marine plastic pollution. | presenting: Linda Emerson (Wildbluesea); authors: Linda Emerson (Wildbluesea)

Plastic pollution is to the present day what air pollution was to the 1960s: invisible, pervasive and largely misunderstood. Seeing earth’s atmosphere as limitless and able to absorb whatever toxins were introduced led to substantial ecological disruption and damage. We are repeating the tragedy by seeing the ocean in the same way and allowing a consumer driven lifestyle influenced by planned obsolescence to thoughtlessly discard millions of tons of plastic, putting the entire marine ecosystem at risk. Research, policy and education address the problem, yet it continues to escalate. We investigated what might lead to a societal shift in behavior that would lessen the volume of plastic entering the North Atlantic. We suggest that when the problem is considered by understanding coasts and watersheds are a contiguous community, the dynamics of the issue are more evident. We proposed that by bringing people together at sites around the Atlantic Ocean through regular common activitiy designed to observe, care for and enjoy the coast with others and by sharing support in an online community that provides space to interact and collaborate, we might cultivate awareness leading to collective individual positive action. We developed and piloted an original program held quarterly around the North Atlantic led by trained site hosts combining a beach-cleanup, data collection on unique cards designed to record subjective impressions of the coast, pre/post cleanup survey and quantify common single-use items and a community building activity such as yoga, art, music, meditation or journaling. Preliminary results indicate this science-based Blue Mind approach of altruistic action, program continuity and restoring one’s emotional connection the ocean and each other is more effective in changing behavior than traditional cleanup events.



17. Conservation Art And Education With Marine Debris | presenting: Shannon McCarthy (Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii); authors: Shannon McCarthy (Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii)

Conservation art is grounded in the act of “doing”. Not only is the art inherently sustainable, but it subsequently has the power to spark dialogue and solution oriented ways of thinking then acting upon the subject presented. Using ocean plastic pollution as the prominent medium in a work of art, one can give viewers a glimpse of the current state of the middle of the ocean, without having to travel there. It can provide those who have never put their feet in coastal sands what our reefs, beaches, and marine life, are experiencing and becoming devastated by. The art is the translator between the ocean, the science, and humans.

The medium is the message. I will be discussing two facets within “Conservation Art and Education With Marine Debris”. The first will be about my experiences as an artist using marine debris as my dominant medium for the past five years. About the impacts I have seen resonating throughout communities and individuals as plastic pollution awareness continues to increase. This also applies to sustainable business practices. The second will be about my experiences as an art teacher, leading students on beach cleanups, and their process from learning about the ocean environment, how to protect this environment, to creating large marine debris art pieces that demonstrate and communicate the need for solution oriented thinking.



18. The Trash Free Waters Program: Integration and the Holistic Picture of the Trash Pollution Issue | presenting: Emma Maschal (Oak Ride Associated Universities (ORAU)); authors: Emma Maschal (Oak Ride Associated Universities (ORAU))

How should one approach a puzzle? Study the picture on the box first, so the end goal is in mind? Group the pieces by characteristics so they are easier to apply when it’s time? Build the framework edge or focus on the central image? The US EPA’s Trash Free Waters Program (TFW) asks the same questions when tackling the problems related to marine litter and they use every technique to connect the pieces.

TFW started on the puzzle by building partnerships – at every level, on all sides, bottom-up and top-down, across-the-pond and in the backyard. From the Clean Water Act to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, there are many different federal laws that intersect through TFW projects. As a program, TFW is uniquely positioned to support projects like the Trash Free Trinity Adopt-A-Spot program that aligns aquatic trash prevention and stormwater management with community engagement, in an area upstream from a National Estuary Program location – Galveston Bay. This presentation will highlight how TFW stakeholders in the private sector, academia, other government agencies, and international communities as well as internal EPA programs have worked on various projects to prevent trash from entering waterways.

The Trash Free Waters Program uses a holistic approach for aquatic trash prevention and reduction. Each puzzle piece on the table has a place, but finding the right fit for a project takes attention which is why the Trash Free Waters Program supports research, education, and innovative strategies.



19. Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Debris Sorting Team: A Method for Data Collection and Raising Awareness | presenting: Tommy Cutt (Loggerhead Marinelife Center); authors: Tommy Cutt (Loggerhead Marinelife Center), Demi Fox (Loggerhead Marinelife Center)

At Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC), a nonprofit sea turtle research, rehabilitation, education, and conservation organization, we conduct many varied marine debris removal activities. All collected trash is turned in to our Center for analysis. A Sorting Team, comprised of staff, interns, and volunteers, separates the debris into 20 simple categories and logs findings in our debris database. We have found that a consistent Sorting Team, regularly scheduled for sorting sessions, standardizes protocols and provides an accurate account of the trash removed from the environment. Greatly improved from estimations provided by individual participants at large cleanup events, our data now allows us to publish precise monthly ‘Sort Reports’ designed to highlight trash statistics in accessible language to share with our partners and the public. Based on our results thus far, we have educated thousands of guests with debris displays, implemented targeted preventative initiatives, and installed trash and recycling receptacles in coastal areas. We have begun to display our sorting method for Center guests and followers via sorting sessions on campus, at annual events, and on social media channels. We are constructing a permanent sorting station in which categories of collected debris will be on exhibit as we work to tally each item. Continuously quantifying the pollution and providing a first-hand look at the trash present in our own back yard creates a more tangible perspective on the marine debris our ocean faces and can inspire responsible action.



20. Students Talking Trash! | presenting: Meredith Kinkade (Falmouth Lawrence School); authors: Meredith Kinkade (Falmouth Lawrence School), Kalea Holdren (Boulder Middle School), Ursula Junker (Falmouth Academy), Petra Brienza (Falmouth Academy), Sadie Levegue (Falmouth Academy)

Kids can make a powerful impact when they deliver important messages to adults and peers. We are a group of middle school students who decided to do something about plastics in our community of Falmouth, Massachusetts. So, we started a campaign to educate people about the damage plastic straws and other disposable plastics can do to our oceans and our earth, and encourage them to change their behavior to use less plastic. We think Falmouth, a coastal town with lots of scientific institutions, should be a leader in making our world a better place and an easy place to start is by reducing our use of straws and other single-use plastics.

We are working with schools to reduce their use of straws in the cafeterias, but also to get marine debris education into the classroom so other students know more about how their daily choices affect ocean health. We host local beach cleanups, and work with community organizations like Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and our local town government to help spread the word and encourage change. We’ve also started talking to restaurants about changing their policies on using straws and other single-use-plastics. We’ve even teamed up with the Sea Education Association (SEA) to collaborate with them on a tool box that helps their college students teach marine debris in their home towns.

We feel adults listen to kids who have strong messages to tell. Our poster will explain our activities in more detail.



21. Don’t Break the Lake: A Social Marketing Campaign for Plastic Marine Debris in Cleveland, Ohio | presenting: Cathi Lehn (City of Cleveland Mayor’s Office of Sustainability); authors: Cathi Lehn (City of Cleveland Mayor’s Office of Sustainability)

Don’t Break the Lake is a social marketing campaign launched for the greater Cleveland area in Ohio, USA by the City of Cleveland’s Office of Sustainability in collaboration with Cleveland Water.

Community-based social marketing combines psychology and social marketing in order to identify barriers to a desired behavior, e.g. using a reusable bag versus a plastic grocery bag. The campaign was motivated by the Great Lakes Land-based Marine Debris Action Plan (2014) and concern over the impact of plastic marine debris in Lake Erie waters. Lake Eris is one of our greatest assets in the region, and an invaluable natural resource.

This campaign specifically focuses on the reduction of plastic grocery bags and plastic disposable water bottles. Through surveys conducted by Ohio Sea Grant, the barriers to desired behaviors were identified and a campaign was developed to address these barriers. The long-term goal for this project was to target specific behaviors that will result in the reduction of plastic grocery bags and plastic disposable water bottles use in our region, and the ultimate reduction of the amount of plastic marine debris entering our waters.

Strategies used, results, and lessons learned from the campaign will be shared in this presentation.

Funding for the campaign was secured through the NOAA Marine Debris program.



22. How Candy Wrappers Motivated a School to Stand Up Against Marine Debris | presenting: Seaberry Nachbar (NOAA); authors: Seaberry Nachbar (NOAA), Teri Briggs (Goleta Family School)

The NOAA Ocean Guardian School program works with K-12 schools to implement stewardship projects focused on watersheds, the ocean and special areas like national marine sanctuaries. The school makes a commitment to ocean conservation and protection and then develops and implements a project that inspires changes in environmental stewardship behavior in their school community and beyond. The program was developed in 2009 and to date has worked with over 100 schools and 5,000 students. This investment has led to large impacts that “guard” our ocean and protect resources, including: 123,189 pounds of trash removed; 108,857 plastic bottles kept out of the landfill; and 7,870 reusable bags distributed to students to replace single-use plastic bags.

One of the NOAA Ocean Guardian Schools, Goleta Family School, was recently recognized as our first 5-year Ocean Guardian School and was acknowledged for the work they do to reduce litter on their local beach, In the process of weekly beach clean ups, the students noticed an increase in the amount of plastic waste on the beach and decided to target the source. They were able to work with a local restaurant to make small changes to their behavior and their patrons behavior and therefore reduce the amount of debris found on the beach., It’s an excellent example of how working at the local level can result in large impacts on our ocean environment.



23. Harnessing the Power of Community to Fight Marine Debris | presenting: Fawn Liebengood (808 Cleanups); authors: Fawn Liebengood (808 Cleanups), Barbara Wiedner (Surfrider Foundation Kauai Chapter), Scott McCubbins (Surfrider Foundation Kauai Chapter), Cynthia Welti (Surfrider Foundation Kauai Chapter), Robert Zelkovsky (Surfrider Foundation Kauai Chapter)

To a single person, marine debris can seem like an expansive and overwhelming issue. Our communities have power to affect tremendous change, but many become overwhelmed trying to figure out where to start. What if you could send out a call for help to clean up a massive derelict fishing net, and within 24 hours, you get extra hands to assist in getting the job done? For 808 Cleanups and Surfrider Foundation Kauai, this scenario is a reality for our volunteer ʻohana.

Our organizations empower communities through daily cleanup posts on social media and inspirational grassroots cleanup efforts. We bring together community members from every age, background, and income. Surfrider has a hot-line to call and both organizations use social media for volunteers to report newly arrived debris. Through 808 Cleanups’ Adopt a Site program, volunteers clean up an average of 3 times per day and removed over 29,000 lb. of marine debris, lead weights, and derelict fishing gear in the past two years. Surfrider Foundation Kauai Chapter has removed >163,000 lb. so far in 2016-2017 through our monthly Beach Cleanups and weekly Net Patrols.

This hands on approach not only provides a sense of community for volunteers who felt alone in the endless fight against marine debris, but also gives us daily opportunities to connect and educate about alternatives to plastic, foam, and other single-use materials. We reassure those who are weary, provide extra support where needed, and build community leaders while significantly reducing marine debris along our coastlines.



24. Leading by example to inspire the next generation of forward-thinkers | presenting: Katy Smith (University of Georgia); authors: Katy Smith (University of Georgia), Aria Colangelo (College of Coastal Georgia)

The University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant steer ongoing efforts to address marine debris along the Georgia coast. In a project funded by NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, extension specialists and partners educated coastal youth to foster community pride, leadership and participation in marine debris prevention. Using NOAA and Ocean Conservancy’s new marine debris curriculum, “Talking Trash and Taking Action,” we delivered positive messages consistent with those of other leaders tackling the marine debris issue across the nation. Collaborating with teachers on the coast, we presented four classroom lessons to seventh-grade Life Science students in a series of interrelated themes: 1) Introduction/Entanglement, 2) Impacts/Ingestion, 3) Design/Innovation, and 4) Solutions/Leadership. To enhance each lesson, we incorporated a hands-on activity, a partner to share their experiences, and a short video to reinforce the ideas presented. We highlighted challenges and current findings and introduced students to the circular economy to inspire a new generation of forward-thinkers. Cleanup opportunities provided an outdoor learning component to the project. Students in the science club participated in monthly cleanups, tracking debris removed from the marsh around the school using NOAA’s Marine Debris Tracker. Successes were highlighted during morning news announcements, boosting pride among the group and school community. In taking ownership of the project, club members developed an outreach message to the community, “Less Plastic is Fantastic,” and used artistic expression and group reflection to design t-shirts and stickers to share their message and inspire others in the community. With a focus on solutions and leadership, our goal was to leave a positive impact that would ripple into the next generation.



25. Enhancing social awareness and triggering co-responsibility about marine litter in Europe | presenting: Joana Veiga (Deltares); authors: Joana Veiga (Deltares)

To address marine litter, understanding people’s perceptions of the issue, changing motivations and behaviour is a vital part of any solution. The project MARLISCO sought to raise societal awareness, trigger co-responsibility and facilitate dialogue towards solutions for marine litter, partnering various organisations, including Research, Authorities, NGOs and Industry.

MARLISCO implemented activities across 15 European countries to develop and test mechanisms to engage society, instil a sense of ownership and desire for collective actions, based on sound scientific evidence and showcasing feasible measures. Engagement activities included: a traveling exhibition displayed in over 80 locations; a video competition involving 2100 students; 12 national participatory events designed to pave way towards concerted solutions, which brought together 1500 stakeholders and revealed support for cross-cutting, preventive measures. Evaluation of these activities showed their effectiveness in improving individuals’ awareness about the problem but also commitment in being part of the solution.

MARLISCO also produced educational, multi-lingual and decision-supporting tools: a teaching resource with learning activities, accompanied by an e-course undertaken by over 400 educators; an online ‘serious game’; a short animation and a web-documentary; a data-base of best practices; brochures on how to communicate with stakeholders and highlighting practices that can be implemented by different sectors.

The poster summarises the approach of MARLISCO and presents the legacy of tools that have been developed and translated in several languages, currently being used widely around European Seas to raise awareness about marine litter and promote effective societal responses.



26. Participation of Student and Academic communities in Coastal clean up and Beach Sweeping programs along Arabian Sea in India . | presenting: Somita Chaudhari (Kishinchand Chellaram College); authors: Somita Chaudhari (Kishinchand Chellaram College)

This presentation is based on the experiences in beaches sweeping and coastal clean up programs through student communities from Schools, colleges and University in Mumbai, Maharaashtra State in India.The city of Mumbai is termed as metropolitan city, as it is having population more than 18 million. The city of Mumbai is surrounded by the Arabian sea and number of rivers and estuaries along the coast of Arabian sea . The population of the Mumbai city poses serious threat to the coast and beaches as lot of waste is generated in city and some of the waste is dumped along coastal region .The sewage disposal in to the Arabian sea also increases the marine litter and formation debris. The schools, colleges and university students and academic communities are playing an important role in coastal and beaches clean up programs from time to time.The coastal clean up and Beach sweeping programs by students not only conserve the local environment but it also increase the tourism activities Along these coast and beaches .This presentation is based on my own experiences on coastal clean up and beach sweeping in Mumbai city from last 5 years.The presentation discusses the causes of marine litter and marine waste accumulation along the coast and beaches of Mumbai city, its effects on environment and local community. The presentation focuses on some successful examples of involving the students, school organizations and educational institutions in coastal clean up and beach sweeping program as well as it introduces the necessity for marine environmental awareness education from childhood. The presentation signifies need of providing tool box , source materials and equipping them for effective and efficient beach sweeping programs periodically.



27. CoastSavers an Alliance for Change | presenting: Heather Stephens (Olympic National Park); authors: Heather Stephens (Olympic National Park)

CoastSavers an Alliance for Change– the alliance that makes up CoastSavers began with a few dedicated advocates for Washington coastal beaches,our group was formed from this grassroots effort that has grown to an impressive, empowered, diverse group of community leaders that love to talk trash and then get out and clean it up! Some of the most generous members have since passed away but their personal commitments to clean the ocean and beaches continues to fuel the mission of protection, preservation and education.

Over the last ten years, CoastSavers has brought together all of these diverse coastal stakeholders and secured a commitment twice a year to go clean Washington beaches. Our collective group has also taught in class rooms,employed interns, made movies,given presentations,partnered with tribal communities, raised funds, and championed fresh ideas that connect the public to reduce,recycle, and reuse principals. As an organization we have collected approximately 500,000 tons of trash.

CoastSavers has thoughtfully worked towards a collective goal of solving our beach trash problem through service learning and volunteerism. We will continue to advocate for positive change in our local coastal communities by looking to develop environmentally sound options that keep our coast protected from the damage of trash. Our collective energy has inspired incredible stewardship of the most amazing places on the earth and we want to share our success story with you.

Come join our discussion and learn how to create a volunteer force that will make a difference for your local and global beloved coastal beaches. Come share your successes so we can generate new ways to look at this huge challenge. This is an opportunity to take the next step and create your own alliance for change!



28. Using Marine Debris and Microplastics Surveys to Engage and Educate the Public about an Important Global Challenge | presenting: Dorothea Sanders (University of Georgia); authors: Dorothea Sanders (University of Georgia), Jay Brandes (Skidaway Institute of Oceanography)

Our research explores the distribution and accumulation rates of marine debris along barrier islands in Georgia and microplastics in coastal seawater, sediments and organisms. Articles about ocean trash have generated public interest in mitigating these impacts, but we need to bring that interest and passion home – thousands of kilograms of plastic blemish the coast and clean-up efforts remove only a fraction. Citizens poorly understand the importance of coastal systems, and the interconnections of water with land and living resources, yet this is where debris ends up. Accordingly, we have developed experiences to engage and educate the public about marine debris in the coastal zone. Participants move from awareness to understanding the human activities that affect marine debris and potential negative impacts in oceanic systems, to taking positive actions. Our programs are multifaceted. Surveys are conducted along shorelines and in salt marshes; participants collect marine debris within the survey site, sort, tally, weigh and record the items. Microplastics in coastal water are examined by using a simple isolation method, followed by visual identification and enumeration of microfibers and particles. Microplastics in sediments are surveyed by comparing sediments collected from an undeveloped and a developed island, using a density suspension separation method we developed. Our outreach efforts have educated thousands on the topic of marine debris and microplastics, engaged them in stewardship experiences, and removed debris and collected data on plastics at several survey sites. There is a critical synergy between scientific research and informal education and our citizen science-based programs incorporate useful and successful strategies that “equip the outreach toolbox” and connect citizens to the natural world.



29. Spring Break marine debris activities cover multiple generations | presenting: Nicole Uibel (National Marine Sanctuary Foundation at Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary); authors: Nicole Uibel (National Marine Sanctuary Foundation at Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary), Gena Parsons (National Marine Sanctuary Foundation in support of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary)

A multi-layered, multi-generational Alternative Spring Break program turned marine debris collection into a long-lasting learning experience to be shared with visitors to the Florida Keys. Led by staff from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, University of Florida students received classroom instruction on environmental issues before collecting and properly disposing of more than 2,500 pounds of marine debris, as well as finding and documenting a vessel for the Migrants and Refugees Escaping by Sea central repository. Sorted trash was then transformed into the Catch of the Day collaborative project for elementary school children during the Splash Trash Tour, a traveling arts-based, hands-on program focused on illustrating the anti-litter message. The result – a fishnet filled with plastics and other items harmful to sea creatures – hangs in the Sanctuary’s Eco-Discovery Center in Key West as a reminder to visitors of all ages about the need to be good environmental stewards.



30. Secondary Student Designed Experiments on Marine Debris | presenting: Kalle Applegate Palmer (High Tech High); authors: Kalle Applegate Palmer (High Tech High)

Marine debris surveys have been used to strengthen high school students’ connections to the environment, fostering a sense of ownership through immersion in nature and empowerment through student driven questions and task completion of research. In Kalle Applegate Palmer’s classroom at High Tech High, marine debris surveys have been the focus of student led research projects two years in a row. Launched with a model survey, students conducted a small scale study that used the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s accumulation survey protocol at a site along the San Diego Bay. Students were guided to document observations and reflect on the model including data collection and analysis procedures. Students then brainstormed questions that they could answer with the research protocol including: How effective are beach clean-ups? How can the arroyo habitat be surveyed for debris? How does the type and quantity of debris vary in upstream and downstream environments? Groups publicly proposed research to a panel of their peers, community stakeholders and local scientists before embarking on data collection. Student researchers analyzed their data, evaluated their methods and defended their findings. Findings were reported to project clients including the Tijuana River Estuarine Research Reserve. For the second year of this activity during the Fall of 2017, peer-led team learning was utilized with a returning student launching the model survey serving to further strengthen student ownership. This project allowed participants to bridge the gap between rhetoric and the reality of how environmental education may be applied, actively engaging students in the scientific process. Furthermore, research on this activity will be presented by K. Applegate Palmer and Rose of Sharon Wilson, the 12th grade student leader.



31. Ocean Discovery Institute: A model for empowering future innovators and decision-makers | presenting: Joel Barkan (Ocean Discovery Institute); authors: Lindsay Goodwin (Ocean Discovery Institute), Shara Fisler (Ocean Discovery Institute), Joel Barkan (Ocean Discovery Institute), Carla Pisbe Camacho (Ocean Discovery Institute)

The future of humankind and our ocean depends on finding innovative solutions to global environmental challenges. The US has fallen short in preparing its young people to address these challenges, particularly those in underserved urban communities, who find themselves trapped in a persistent cycle of poverty and unaware of opportunities in science. This has resulted in untapped possibilities for young people and for our environmental challenges. Ocean Discovery Institute is a San Diego-based organization, which was founded to directly address this need. We operate on a single premise: by receiving ocean science education, kids in poverty develop a passion for conservation, belief that science is something they can do, stay in school, go to college, and gain entry to fields where they make a difference. Our unique educational model provides continuous, tuition-free science education paired with mentoring and tools for success across one school-shed (are area where all of the young people flow from elementary schools into one high school) from pre-K to career. We rely on critical partnerships, including NOAA and the San Diego Unified School District to support these activities. Programs have resulted in (1) our in-school participants increase their science knowledge by 30%; (2) 75% of our after-school participants earn a college degree within six years; (3) 15,000 individuals have been mobilized to act for the benefit of our coastal environment. This unique approach and exceptional outcomes earned national recognition in 2010 when it was awarded The White House’s Presidential Award for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. Our plan for growth will result in local scaling at our current site in San Diego growing from 6,000 to 10,000 students annually and national replication, beginning with Norfolk, Virginia.



32. Using Environmental Education as a Catalyst for Youth Activism around Plastic Pollution: A Case Study of the Plastic Pollution Education and Ocean Conservation Summer Camp | presenting: Kristal Ambrose (Bahamas Plastic Movement); authors: Kristal Ambrose (Bahamas Plastic Movement)

Understanding the detrimental role plastic plays in our marine and terrestrial ecosystems is extremely important to the alleviation of the problem. By conducting scientific research, we can quantify the extent of the issue universally. However, there are still major disconnects between science, education and communication as it relates to evoking unified change for plastic reduction at the global level. By building a community of inquiry-based education and environmental stewardship, Bahamas Plastic Movement provides accessible science opportunities for the next generation of environmental leaders. A fundamental program ran by the organization is the Plastic Pollution Education and Ocean Conservation Summer Camp. This intensive summer program takes students on a holistic journey from the problem with plastic to solutions to this environmental crisis. This camp, which is the first of its kind for The Bahamas, empowers students to become environmental leaders and tackle the issue of plastic pollution using a dynamic, creative and hands on approach. Our unique method of encompassing science, technology, engineering, art, math (STEAM) and community engagement translates a very real-world problem into tangible, realistic outcomes that youth can connect to and execute effectively. Grounded in plastic pollution threats facing our environment, this program is rooted deeper in the hopefulness that comes from engaging young people in environmental work. For the past 4 years, the Plastic Pollution Education and Ocean Conservation Camp has truly shifted the education paradigm and provided youth with the tools necessary to innovate realistic solutions to plastic pollution based on their culture and environment.



33. Youth Arts+Media for Plastic Free Waters – giving voice to urban youth of color with citizen science, civic action, arts and media | presenting: Debby Lee Cohen (Cafeteria Culture, Executive Director and Founder); authors: Debby Lee Cohen (Cafeteria Culture, Executive Director and Founder), Atsuko Quirk (Cafeteria Culture, Media and Program Director)

The YOUTH ARTS+MEDIA for PLASTIC FREE WATERS (YAM 4 PFW) program is a STEaM based school-community partnership and pilot program in low-income New York City communities of color. Students take the lead in their school neighborhoods to reduce single-use plastic litter at the source.

Since 2012, Cafeteria Culture, a non-profit environmental education organization, has been piloting plastic marine litter education in elementary and middle schools. Partner schools function as the project hub, where students serve as community leaders to engage neighbors, businesses, and government; conduct litter characterization studies and cleanups on local streets and beaches, contributing to urgently needed citywide data; survey microplastics; pilot and promote reward systems; and design creative messaging, including giant puppets, short videos, community presentations, performances, and social media campaigns.

By decoding the complexities of marine plastic and microplastics issues, these youth are contributing a powerful voice to the plastic-free movement, designing accessible narratives that are reaching new audiences and helping to inform plastic free policy from the ground up, including NYC’s plastic bag fee and polystyrene ban bills.

The project videos are promoted locally and globally via CafCu’s YouTube channel, CafCu Media, inspiring other low-income, public housing, and immigrant communities to replicate similar initiatives. Cafeteria Culture is currently compiling Plastic Free Waters lesson plans to share for free as part of our already existing toolkit, which has previously focused on student leadership to achieve zero waste schools.



34. Creating K-12 Projects To Combat Plastic Pollution with Global Empathy | presenting: Darren Ellwein (Harrisburg South Middle School); authors: Darren Ellwein (Harrisburg South Middle School)

In this session, view the integrated approach to plastic pollution. Science is the core curriculum in these projects, but it goes beyond the study of ocean currents. Marine life, study of chemistry elements and researching plastic debris is just the tip of learning for middle school learners in South Dakota. It is a learning plan that includes a school in Bergen, Norway, along with nonprofit and university experts from California. By providing research and information to learners, they are allowed to use student voice and choice to produce projects with an entrepreneurial focus.

With the use of our Makerspace and maker materials, including STEM materials, learners had the task of inventing solutions to the plastic pollution problems in our world today. In three iterations prototypes were created with a local and world focus. Some local projects included Plastics Craft Day, working to minimize plastic bag use in grocery stores and working on creating local legislation. Other learners created inventions with a oceanic purpose.

Continuing to build on these projects, the focus now includes our work with Norway and other schools around the world. We are engaging in a longitudinal project that has our learners working with local scientists to collect data on plastic pollution. Scientists from Bergen University in Norway and South Dakota State University in South Dakota are working with our students. This global empathy project will include other schools around the world as the year continues.



35. Clean Beaches Start at Home | presenting: Kahi Pacarro (Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii); authors: Mugdha Flores (Clean Beaches Start at Home)

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii (SCH) inspires local communities to care for their coastlines through fun, hands-on beach cleanups; however, not everyone can make it to a beach cleanup. SCH has found a way around this challenge by bringing the beach to them. In 2016, SCH launched a new K-14 “Plastic Pollution” Program aimed at educating youth statewide through engaging presentations and activities. The most unique aspect of our program is the Education Station, an upcycled shipping container that has been converted into a mobile outdoor classroom. SCH has increased student and teacher participation 10-fold by offering schools the option to host the Education Station at their campuses and through classroom presentations.

SCH also engages the public through outreach events, drawing people in by using simple, interactive activities. Our key message is clean beaches start at home, because most of what we find on our beaches originates from home or as a result of what we eat at home. If we can make better choices about our consumption habits; we can rely less on plastic and switch to better alternatives. Through our education and outreach program, SCH reached over 8,000 individuals statewide in 2016 and over 8,500 as of October, 2017. We have fostered environmental stewardship by empowering people to think about the ocean and make better choices. Our goal is to increase the effectiveness of this program through innovation, collaborations, student and teacher surveys, and increased participation in our beach-cleanups.

Most importantly we want to share the lessons we’ve learned along the way from scaling our educational outreach efforts up to the Education Station and where we’re going with our newest incarnation, the Education Station II. A mobile van aimed at providing easier access and further reach to an even broader dem



36. BLUE responsibility: Creating change through communication | presenting: Marthe Larsen Haarr (Salt Lofoten AS); authors: Kriss Rokkan Iversen (Salt Lofoten AS), Hilde Rodas Johnsen (Salt Lofoten AS), Siri Beate Arntzen (Salt Lofoten AS), Gry Anette Stromnes (West Lofoten High School), Marthe Larsen Haarr (Salt Lofoten AS)

A considerable amount of waste is generated through activities at sea. Raising awareness about the sources and environmental consequences of marine debris amongst blue professionals therefore constitutes a central element in reducing the problem.

At the brim of Northern Norway, large commercial fisheries and other maritime industries utilize the vast ocean areas for wealth creation. The archipelago of Lofoten is situated on the narrow continental shelf expanding into some of the richest fishing grounds in the world. As fisheries and other maritime activities are fundamental components of the communities in Lofoten, one of the local high schools has a special focus on educating the next generation of workers in the blue industries.

In cooperation with the local high school of West Lofoten, the knowledge-based company SALT has developed the outreach program BLUE responsibility, targeting the next generation of fishermen and seafarers. The goal of BLUE responsibility is to create behavioural change in blue industries through communicating knowledge about the ocean, marine ecosystems and marine debris – and highlight the role and responsibility that lies in the hands of the people living of the sea.

A modified version of the educational program, targeting already active fishermen and seafarers, is being developed for the mandatory safety courses both in Norway and Russia.

BLUE responsibility is a valuable tool in including the blue professionals into the solution space to reduce the problem of marine debris. Communicating the role and responsibility of fishermen and seafarers in both the cause and solution of marine debris, creates change in attitudes and behaviour. This will in turn reduce the impact of their seabound professional lives in the future.



37. Empowering youth as leaders in the community to prevent and remove marine debris in the Gulf of Maine | presenting: Erin Pelletier (Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation); authors: Erin Pelletier (Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation)

The Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation (GOMLF) has taken a comprehensive approach to addressing marine debris in the Gulf of Maine. By teaching students the complete cycle of marine debris types, sources, movement, impact, and solutions, our youth develop a greater sense of ecosystem-based understanding, responsibility, and stewardship. With funding support from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, we have led a project which connects people across watersheds, disciplines, ages, and institutions by engaging participants, especially students, in a complete cycle of experiential, place-based activities designed to teach them about the types and sources of marine debris, how the debris moves through the watershed and into the estuary and ocean, how it is transported by ocean currents, the impact on human and ecosystem habitats and resources, and the solutions to reducing debris in the marine environment. We will present here our work and share best practices for engaging youth, and how they have committed to implementing local action plans to reduce and prevent marine debris in their communities.



38. Beyond a Plastic Sea | presenting: Rocío Lozano-Knowlton (MERITO Foundation); authors: Rocío Lozano-Knowlton (MERITO Foundation), Jill Santos (MERITO Foundation)

‘Beyond a Plastic Sea’ is a pilot project of the MERITO Foundation weaved into our existing environmental education and citizen science programs that addresses explicitly the amount of plastics currently used, disposed and entering the ocean and harming marine food webs in the Santa Barbara Channel Region. This project’s empowers students ages 10 to 18 to advocate and change the behaviors of other students, school’s personnel, businesses and public at large through education, advocacy, citizen science and environmental entrepreneurship.

‘Beyond a Plastic Sea’ focuses on plastics of any size including micro-plastics by working with teachers and partner organizations from academia, resource protection, and businesses in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties and involves 3 phases: Increasing students ocean literacy and awareness of marine debris impacts; Students participation in marine debris monitoring activities using NOAA Marine Debris Toolkit and shoreline survey protocols; and then students author project proposals for their school campuses to reduce the plastic waste, advocate for sustainable policies at local level, or educate a communities about the issue.

‘Beyond a Plastic Sea’ directly increase the scientific knowledge and awareness of plastics pollution in the ocean of 1000-1200 students per year, and is catalysis for plastic pollution preventive practices at school campuses, policies at municipalities and/or businesses, and public awareness. We contemplate this project to share lessons learned to teachers and students across the Pacific Ocean in an Easter Asian country in following years through partnerships with NGOs and Resource Protection agencies.



39. Role of active journalism in preventing marine debris generation in the Indian Ocean | presenting: Vishal Gulati (IANS news agency); authors: Vishal Gulati (IANS news agency)

With the widespread utilization of plastic, oceans have literally become a dumping ground for human waste — a global problem. Plastic consistently represents the major category of marine debris in the Indian Ocean too, causing sever environmental problems that is impacting the marine-based economies also. Harmful effects of marine debris on aquatic wildlife can often be seen when mammals ingest and become tangled in debris, potentially leading to their mortality. While coastal areas, with their closeness to human population centers, have suffered disproportionately, marine sanctuaries that serve as breeding grounds or nurseries of several endangered species, including critically endangered sharks, have been witnessing alarming sea changes. Marine debris is a threat to human health too. According to United Nations Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), 60 to 80 per cent of the global litter found in the coastal and marine ecosystems has originated from land and the rest from sea-based activities. Kenya-based marine litter expert with the UN environment programme Habib El-Habr has rightly remarked: “If we continue like this, by 2050, we will have more plastic in the ocean than fish.” Last month, Kenya enacted the world’s toughest law aimed at reducing plastic pollution and made the sale or use of plastic bags subject to imprisonment of up to four years or fines of $40,000 (£31,000). In India, to really clean up the Indian Ocean, there is needed to focus to make the people aware to minimise and even stop producing debris. Ultimately, the problem with sea debris is not taking responsibility by the stakeholders.



40. Marine litter reduction strategies for major cultural events in the Caribbean- A pilot study on Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago | presenting: Nakita Poon Kong (IAMovement); authors: Nakita Poon Kong (IAMovement), Emma Doyle (Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute)

Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago attracts thousands of people to the country annually, and significant amounts of plastic and glass waste from food and beverage consumption is generated as a result. Due to poor waste management, these single-use items are disposed at dump sites but a lot of this ends up in the ocean. This pilot study aims to reduce marine litter through the use of effective communication strategies and economic incentives for stakeholders involved in the Carnival business. In order to achieve this, a needs assessment was conducted by gathering existing information on waste management and identifying key stakeholders. Further to this, the study focused on identifying a marine litter celebrity champion to assist with the implementation of the communication strategy, targeted to specific stakeholders to build awareness of marine litter. The findings of this pilot study can be used as a source of information for event organisers, for a reduction of plastic and glass use, recommend best practices on creating a communications strategy for on-land waste reduction, and monitoring and evaluation pre and post-event. The adoption of these best practices to reduce marine litter can also be shared through a targeted outreach program. This pilot study can be replicated in the Caribbean region as there are similar events held every year, such as Carnivals on other islands, music, and sporting events, that already show interest in achieving greater environmental sustainability. This project was supported by the Caribbean Node of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter.



41. How a Beach Cleanup evolved into a National Public Education Campaign | presenting: Tamoy Singh Clarke (Jamaica Environment Trust); authors: Suzanne Stanley (Jamaica Environment Trust), Diana McCaulay (Jamaica Environment Trust), Tamoy Singh Clarke (Jamaica Environment Trust)

The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) has been coordinating beach clean-ups since 1994 and became national coordinators of International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICC) in Jamaica in 2008. JET has witnessed the growth of ICC activities in Jamaica from 32 cleanups in 2008 to 138 in 2016 and a significant increase in the amount of garbage being removed from Jamaica’s coastlines during ICC; from about 9,000 pounds in 2008 to over 109,000 in 2016. JET’s experience coordinating ICC inspired a national public education program on marine debris called the Clean Coasts Project, launched in 2014. Clean Coasts also pioneered the Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica campaign, which sought to change Jamaican attitudes and behaviour regarding littering and garbage disposal. Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica aims to increase awareness of the impact of poor solid waste management on public health and the marine environment while encouraging personal responsibility for trash. Guided by ongoing research into knowledge, attitudes and practices and feedback from the target audience, the campaign spreads its message using the Jamaican language via social and traditional media, animation, event branding, local celebrity ambassadors and targeted community based environmental education. JET is about to embark on its fifth year of delivering the Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica campaign using lessons learnt since its launch to broaden its reach and refine its messaging. This presentation will share strategies, methodology and lessons learned from JET’s experience delivering Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica.



Track: Monitoring & Citizen Science


42. Florida Microplastic Awareness Project: using citizen science to inspire behavior change | presenting: Maia McGuire (University of Florida/FL Sea Grant); authors: Maia McGuire (University of Florida/FL Sea Grant)

The Florida Microplastic Awareness Project (FMAP) was created in 2015 with support from a NOAA Marine Debris Program Outreach and Education grant. Floridians were aware of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but did not necessarily see a connection between it and their activities. FMAP trains citizen scientists to sample and analyze local waters for the presence of microplastics. Since September 2015, the volunteer effort has allowed the collection and analysis of over 1,200 samples from more than 420 locations around the state. Data from the project are used in a larger outreach effort which encourages people to take a pledge containing 8 actions they can do to reduce their plastic waste production. More than 1,500 people have completed the FMAP pledge. On average, people pledged to make about 3.5 behavior changes (they report already taking an average of 4 of the suggested actions). In follow-up surveys received from over 135 pledge-takers, people reported on average having made more than three behavior changes. 85% reported having shared information about microplastics with others. FMAP has grown since its inception, both within Florida and throughout the Gulf of Mexico.



43. Innovating Marine Debris Research for Citizen Scientists: Considering the End User During the Development of New Technology | presenting: Katherine Ball (Arizona State University); authors: Katherine Ball (Arizona State University)

This abstract is intended to address the needs of marine debris research. Current methods limit our ability to research coastal zones and engage stakeholders, such as citizen scientists, in the issue. Innovative methodology and new technology will increase our research capabilities. Methods for creating effective technology for citizen scientists are discussed in this abstract. The author presents a case study of m-PARR. m-PARR is a new instrument still in the prototype stage which has been designed for sampling micro-plastics in coastal zones and engaging citizen scientists.



44. The Riverine Input Project: a citizen-science project to monitor litter inputs from rivers to the marine environment | presenting: Antoine Bruge (Surfrider Foundation Europe); authors: Antoine Bruge (Surfrider Foundation Europe)

Marine debris are known to affect marine wildlife and represents extra pressure on already threaten species. Many studies have investigated ocean plastic pollution, accumulation in gyres, degradation and impacts. Rivers are recognized as a major pathway for litter entering the ocean, especially plastic debris. Yet, further research is needed to improve knowledge on rivers contribution, increase data availability, precise litter origins and develop relevant solutions.

This presentation aims to present the first results of The Riverine Input Project, a long-term citizen-science litter monitoring project on river banks. Surfrider Foundation Europe has been applying this method since 2014 on the Adour river, southwest of France. Sampling consists in collecting all litter stranded on the river banks or stuck in the riparian vegetation in a pre-defined area. To this aim, several sampling sites were identified from cartographic and hydromorphological analysis, and with the support of local stakeholder. Litter samples are then sorted and counted according to a grid adapted to riverine litter containing 130 items categories.

Since the project launch, 278 litter samplings were carried out and 120,632 litter items were collected, sorted and counted. 41% of litter could not be identified due to high degradation. Food and beverages packaging, smoking-related items, sewage related debris, fisheries and mariculture tackles and common household items represents 70% of identifiable items.

Overall, the present study contributes to our knowledge of litter sources and pathways, with the target of reducing the amounts entering oceans. The long-term application of this monitoring is a way forward to measure societal changes as well as assess current and future measures effectiveness.



45. Volunteers Support Scientific Research and Increase People Awareness: The case of Legambiente’s beach litter survey | presenting: Serena Carpentieri (Legambiente Onlus); authors: Stefania Di Vito (Legambiente Onlus), Serena Carpentieri (Legambiente Onlus), Giorgio Zampetti (Legambiente Onlus), Luca Pucci (Legambiente Onlus)

Citizen Science experiences can be a powerful tool to build effective cooperation between science and society, to recruit new talents for science and to pair scientific knowledge with social awareness and responsibility. The interaction with citizen assisting in data collection is growing as a cost-effective way to deploy continuous large scale environmental monitoring.

Legambiente is the most widespread environmental NGO operating in Italy since 1980. One of the most important topics for the organization is the marine environment. In fact, in the last years, Legambiente promotes national campaigns all around Italian seas and coasts, monitoring land based pollution like wastewater, coast degradation and littering. Legambiente has increased its activity linked to the presence of marine litter and microplastics in seas and freshwaters. A beach litter survey was started in 2014 within “Clean-up the Med”, an international beach cleaning campaign that involves every year, in May, thousands of volunteers from Italy and the whole Mediterranean sea. In this work, the “Clean-up the Med” initiative is presented, analyzing results of beach litter monitoring of more than 200 beaches monitored from 2014 to 2017 (75% Italian and the rest from other Mediterranean countries involved in the initiative). The survey used a standard protocol according to the Technical Subgroup on Marine Litter (TSG ML) Mediterraneo. Our activity and campaigns are well recognized at the European level, from Unep, Environmental European Agency and by the US Department State, among others. In the meantime, actions, policies and good practices input are suggested starting also from data analysis, as the plastic carrier bags ban in all the Mediterranean countries.



46. American River Basin Debris Can But Shouldn’t Migrate 100 Miles to the Sea – Salmon Should | presenting: Christine Flowers (Valley Foothill Watersheds Collaborative); authors: Christine Flowers (Valley Foothill Watersheds Collaborative), Tim Vendlinski (Urban Creek Advocate), Alta Tura (Sacramento Area Creeks Council), Aaron Haiman (Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy)

This session will provide examples of how to use Citizen Science and connect inland communities to the concept that they are a source of marine debris. NGOs, educators, and local government representatives will learn about how citizen monitoring projects implemented in the inland communities of the American River Basin, through cleanup events using Kobo Toolbox, Adopt-a-Creek Programs and the Arcade Creek Project in the IB program at Mira Loma High School, can be used to assist with outreach for compliance with trash TMDL regulations the are part of the 2015 California Ocean Plan.

Since the early 1990’s community members with support from local government waste management and storm water programs as well as water agencies have completed restoration projects for better water quality, salmon spawning habitat and riparian habitat that have a trash and debris removal component. Recently the non-profit sector has obtained grants to promote and develop Citizen Science activities for water monitoring including trash data collection.

Partners with the Valley Foothill Watersheds Collaborative are providing unified messaging for creek watershed health and collecting litter and trash data to support future storm water resource management plan development. Examples are: 1) Community participation in the 27th Annual Sacramento Area Creek Council’s CREEK WEEK where over 1,700 people at 80+ sites collect litter and debris in the creeks of Sacramento County 2) Train volunteers to use a web based platform, Kobo Toolbox, for ongoing litter/marine debris data collection at selected sites 3) Formalize the training and recruitment of volunteers for the local Adopt-A-Creek programs 4) Encourage student leadership to protect the environment one creek at a time and share their information in new and innovative ways.



47. Preventing marine plastic pollution through citizen science while promoting public stewardship of aquatic environments | presenting: Luisa Galgani (University of Siena); authors: Luisa Galgani (University of Siena), Steven A. Loiselle (University of Siena)

Plastics waste is a global emerging threat for aquatic ecosystems, ubiquitous in rivers, lakes and marine areas, where about 8 million metric tons of plastic debris end up every year.

It is estimated that 80% of marine debris has land based origins, transported to the sea by rivers and sewage. By comparison, the amount of plastics released into freshwater and terrestrial environments is likely to be much higher as these provide the main transport pathways to the marine environment. As an example, in the Mediterranean Sea, terrestrial debris represent 94%, of which 95% consists of macro and micro plastic litter.

However, relatively little is known about the abundance and sources of this anthropogenic litter. This information is fundamental to determine its impact and to identify successful mitigation strategies prior to its arrival in our waters.

Importantly, while the scientific community (including ourselves) is dedicating much effort on the impacts of plastic on marine and in general, aquatic ecosystems, the problem of plastic pollution needs to be tackled on land.

We present here a citizen-science project aimed at promoting public stewardship of local aquatic resources, quantifying the type and quantity of plastic entering our rivers with the aim of reducing the amount of plastic reaching our seas. Efforts to solve the plastic problem require a partnered approach between research institutions, municipalities, educational institutions and citizens, achievable through citizen science. Focusing on the connectivity of all aquatic ecosystems in the emerging challenge of plastic debris in the hydrosphere, we present recent research activity and the efforts of the community of citizen scientists monitoring local water bodies for anthropogenic litter presence and composition.



48. Is crumb rubber used on artificial turf pitches a source for marine plastic litter? How to get children involved in crowd science | presenting: Dorte Herzke (Norwegian Institute for Air Research); authors: Dorte Herzke (Norwegian Institute for Air Research), Claudia Halsband (Akvaplan Niva), Booth Andy (SINTEF)

In Norwegian coastal communities, rubber microplastic granules (≤ 5 mm in size) derived from discarded vehicle tires are used in large quantities on outdoor synthetic turf sports pitches. Through transport by waste water effluents and terrestrial runoff, these rubber particles are considered a significant source of MPs to the marine ecosystem. In the here presented interdisciplinary project we study the composition, degradation and environmental impacts of these rubber granules from locations in northern Norway and Svalbard. Plastic litter is an important environmental problem, posing a risk for the health of marine ecosystems and human populations relying on marine resources. At present, many tons of rubber particles reach the marine environment via runoff from land to the sea, and may be further transport northwards with ocean currents. Their persistence and residence time in the Arctic marine environment is unknown. These rubber particles pose a potential health risk for arctic wild life through direct ingestion, especially at the base of the marine food chain (Cole et al., 2013; Booth et al. 2016), but may also provide an exposure route for toxic additive chemicals present in tires to marine organisms (Herzke et al., 2015).

Pupils of all ages participated in a 4 week research campaign, designed and facilitated by the authors together with the Norwegian Research Council and Miljolærer. Pupils were tasked to identify and report artificial turf pitches, record the amount of rubber granule collected on clothing during a game as well as recording the type of rubber granules used at the pitches. So far more than 6500 children and youth have participated (September 2017) in more than 300 games on 264 pitches. Results will be presented under the conference.



49. All Hands on Deck! Monitoring stranded plastic marine debris on Bermuda’s beaches | presenting: Anne Hyde (Keep Bermuda Beautiful); authors: Anne Hyde (Keep Bermuda Beautiful), Struan R. Smith (Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo), J.P. Skinner (Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences), Kaitlin Baird (Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences), Kyla Smith (Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences), Vanese S. Flood (Ministry of Works & Engineering, Bermuda Government), Amy Harvey (Bermuda College), Judith Landsberg (Greenrock Bermuda), Jennifer Gray (Bermuda National Trust), Dorte Horsfield (Bermuda National Trust)

Bermuda lies on the western boundary of the Sargasso Sea and is inundated with marine debris from the North Atlantic Gyre. A visit by the 5 Gyres team in 2010 stimulated the formation of the Bermuda Marine Debris Task Force which initiated a monitoring program on six exposed beaches. An awareness campaign was developed to encourage students and citizens to participate in the beach surveys. A total of 82 surveys were conducted on the six beaches from 2010-2015. A total of 931 participants in 5 citizen science teams and 77 school and college groups conducted the surveys. The surveys were done with three 1 x 25m transects randomly laid along the most recent high tide line on each sampling date. Visible plastic marine debris greater than 1×1 mm in size was collected. The quantity of plastic debris stranding on the beaches was variable over time but 36% of the samples had mean weights of plastic debris between 0.1 and 1g m-2, 45% of the surveys found from 1.1 to 10g m-2 and 15 percent of the samples exceeded 10.1g per m-2. Analyses of plastic debris from Elbow Beach determined that about 10% of the debris, by mass, was between 1 mm2 and 22.5 mm2 (4.75 x 4.75 mm, Tyler Mesh #4) in size, ~65% of the debris was in the 22.5 mm2 to 400 cm2 (20 x 20 cm) size class and ~15% were in the >400 cm2 size class. But numerically ~52% of the particles were between 1 mm2 – 22.5 mm2 in size, ~47% were in the 22.5 mm2 to 400 cm2 size class and <1% were larger than the 400 cm2 size class.



50. EPA’s Standard Trash Assessment Method – unleashed! | presenting: Margaret McCauley (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency); authors: Margaret McCauley (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), Sydney Barnes-Grant (University of Washington, Seattle), Sydney Harris ()

How do I know whether my community has more litter than yours? How do we understand how trash gets carried from inland waters to the ocean? Where are the sources of particularly high risk trash, for both humans and aquatic life?

EPA representatives from across the U.S. have been working on a standardized assessment protocol to monitor trash larger than 5 millimeters (not microplastics). The protocol can be used in any environment from city streets to riverbanks to outer coasts. It is informed by numerous site specific protocols, such as the Urban Rapid Trash Assessment, the NOAA shoreline monitoring program, and other citizen science programs. The talk will describe how our new protocol is both risk-based and set up to produce data that will align well with municipal solid waste characterizations, which can be used for upstream pollution prevention.

EPA has been testing the protocol with citizen science groups and is pleased to be ready to release it for wider use at the 6th IMDC. The goal for the protocol will be that data generated is replicable, consistent, and able to be used to inform water quality listings and local-level pollution prevention plans in partnership with businesses and other community organizations.



51. Monitoring macro and micro plastic in Pelagos Sanctuary: a citizenscience successful approach. | presenting: Stefano Aliani (CNR-ISMAR (Institute of Marine Sciences – Italian Research Council)); authors: Silvia Merlino (CNR-ISMAR (Institute of Marine Sciences – Italian Research Council)), Marinella Abbate (ENEA), Marina Locritani (INGV), Stefano Aliani (CNR-ISMAR (Institute of Marine Sciences – Italian Research Council)), Marco Bianucci (CNR-ISMAR)

SEACleanerII is the present follow up of the SEACleaner citizenscience project (2014-2016) implemented by CNR-ISMAR in collaboration with other Research and Organization Centers (DLTM, INGV), 5 Regional/National Parks in South Liguria and North Tuscany, and many associations School Institutions. The project’s aim is to collect data on the type, distribution and principal pollution sources of macro and micro “Anthropogenic Marine Debries” (AMDs) on several beaches in a vast area belonging to the Pelagos Mammals Santuary. SEACleaner takes advantage of the ministerial program Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro to involve hundreds of secondary school students. Strong collaborations and synergies have been activated with other citizenscience projects focused on biological surveys, through Reef Check Protocol MAC-e, in the same selected areas. Results were made public by means of scientific publications (also for generic public), a master thesis and trough the documentary “MARINE RUBBISH. A challenge to share” distributed by CNR-WEB TV, realized for the 10th of Researchers Night in Bruxell in 2015, and presented in various national and international Environmental Film Festival. In 2016 the network has been extended to ENEA-UTMAR of La Spezia. SEACleanerII focuses on microplastics which represent a major problem for marine mammals in the considered area. It provides data collected during repeated campaigns at the same georeferenced stations, with seasonal time lapse. Compared to the previous project, the survey is restricted to marine high protected areas and to some neighboring urban beaches, in order to compare situations that differ for anthropization, tourist exploitation, cleaning beach actions etc. Here we present some preliminary results of the last year of microplastic collection and a brief review of past SEACleaner results.



52. Results from 12 years of weekly community litter collection on 11 Gold Coast beaches, Australia | presenting: Serena Lee (Griffith University); authors: Serena Lee (Griffith University), James Gullison (Griffith Centre for Coastal Management), Laura Richards (City of Gold Coast)

The Griffith Centre for Coastal Management, in collaboration with the City of Gold Coast, has established the Coastal Community Engagement Program in 2002. The program has a focus in creating a platform for the local community to become actively involved with dune regeneration, environmental education, citizen science and beach clean ups. The program runs 3 sister programs: BeachCare, DuneWatch and CoastEd.

BeachCare has been managing 11 dune sites on the Gold Coast, stretching over 52 km of coastline. Community members meet every Saturday at one of these sites and assist in the regeneration and management of those dunes. Volunteer attendance has grown exponentially from 40 volunteers in 2005 to 1028 in 2016. During the regeneration events, clean ups are conducted in and around the dune site.

CoastEd has been focusing on the educational component concerning marine debris. The program reaches over 6000 students per year and works with 193 schools and community groups throughout the region.

The Coastal Community engagement program is unique where a collaboration between a city council, a university and members of the community has been achieved to successfully work together towards common goals for 15 years.

The presentation will showcase results from 15 years of coastal education, 12 years of marine litter collection and audits and 3 years of citizen science with a focus on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.



53. Engaging citizen scientists to assess large scale microplastic distributions | presenting: Eric Sparks (Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center); authors: Eric Sparks (Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center), Amanda Sartain (Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center), Caitlin Wessel (Dauphin Island Sea Lab)

Marine debris is a global issue that significantly impacts aquatic environments. The most prevalent type of marine debris is microplastics, which is ubiquitous in marine, estuarine, and freshwater systems. Microplastics have become an emerging research topic and contaminant of concern due to their prevalence and potential impacts on aquatic and marine life. However, few education, outreach, and research projects address marine debris, specifically microplastics, and public perception of debris issues has remained relatively unchanged. To better understand microplastic distributions and increase awareness of this issue, we are conducting a citizen science based microplastic sampling project across the US Gulf of Mexico coast. We have created a microplastic sampling guidebook and instructional videos for collecting and processing microplastics. These educational products were used for in-person trainings of thirteen organizations, ranging from Corpus Christi, TX to Key Largo, FL, that are collaborating on this project. Each partner organization has trained local citizen scientists to collect and process beach and water samples for microplastics in their respective area. Information collected by each citizen scientist includes: sample location, number of microplastics per volume or area, and type of microplastics (fibers, fragments, film, or beads). All partners and associated citizen scientists will collect microplastic samples in September and October 2018 and 2019. Once annual data has been processed, US Gulf-wide microplastic distribution maps will be created and made open access. This project will inevitably increase awareness of microplastic issues by connecting with and involving the public in a citizen science based monitoring project and developing educational materials.



54. Tracking Debris Hotspots in Southwest Florida USA with the Help of Student Scientists | presenting: Kim Bassos-Hull (Mote Marine Laboratory); authors: Kim Bassos-Hull (Mote Marine Laboratory), Katie McHugh (Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program), Kasey Gaylord-Opalewski (Mote Marine Laboratory), Ronda Ryan (Sarasota Bay Watch)

Southwest Florida coastal waters and shorelines (which includes bridges, jetties and piers) are heavily used by both residents and tourists and are popular areas to fish. As a result, marine debris (both consumer debris and derelict fishing gear) is prevalent in the region. A recent publication (Adimey et al. 2014) identified this region as a hot spot for entanglement of dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles. To address this issue on a fine scale, Mote Marine Laboratory high school and college interns were trained to collect data on human activity, wildlife frequency, and marine debris frequency on area bridges, piers and jetties on a monthly basis. During these surveys, students used the Marine Debris Tracker App to record all marine debris and collected derelict fishing gear for measurement. Additionally, interns conducted or participated in several coastal cleanup events where trash was logged and derelict fishing gear was further measured. To date (since 2015), with the help of over 50 interns , over 10,000 pieces of trash have been logged and over 2 kilometers of fishing line have been removed and measured from area bridges, piers, jetties and beach and mangrove shorelines. Student interns communicated these results through a variety of modes such as public or scientific posters, educational games and activities at outreach festivals, peer mentoring of elementary-school children on relevant conservation topics, and presenting their activities and findings to a worldwide audience via videoconference technologies. Allowing students direct involvement in research and conservation education opportunities during teenage years builds important capacity in this next generation of potential future ocean scientists and creates conservation-minded members of the public.



55. Community Driven Micro Clean Ups: Small Scale but Big Impact | presenting: Tim Silverwood (Take 3); authors: Tim Silverwood (Take 3), Scott Wilson (Macquarie University)

Every day, tens of thousands of people across the world pick up litter and marine debris from the environment through so-called ‘micro clean ups’. What if ‘citizen science’ captured data from such actions could enable communities and stakeholders to increase our understanding of litter/ debris, support policy/ decision-making and provide evidence of impact & change? The individuals/groups that undertake small-scale ‘micro clean-ups’ and casual clean-up actions do so under their own volition. Rarely, if at all, is data on the material collected or the amount of effort (hours spent doing these actions), captured.

In 2017, ‘Take 3 for the Sea’ initiated a social media campaign called ‘Pick it up, Snap it, Share it’ ( to encourage people doing these micro-clean-ups to take photographs and submit them for more detailed analysis. The campaign leveraged off Take 3’s large and committed audience of 50k+ social media followers and proven success in engaging communities in ‘micro clean up’ activities. Over 1600 images from the larger pool of submissions were viewed and put through a quality assurance/quality control analysis. Of those only 500 images could be definitively assessed and from this over 10,000 litter items and a variety of types, locations and collection efforts were identified. This approach and the associated analysis of the photographs demonstrated a novel and standardised way of collecting and reporting on these informal ‘micro clean-ups’. A description of the approach and implications for enabling future citizen science outcomes will be discussed.



56. Where should we collect samples on the beach for mesoplastic analysis? | presenting: Jongsu Lee (OSEAN); authors: Jongsu Lee (OSEAN), Jongmyoung Lee (OSEAN), Sunwook Hong (OSEAN), Sang Hee Hong, Won Joon Shim, Soeun Eo

We surveyed the abundance and deposition patterns of mesoplastic marine debris (5–25 mm) by lines) and plastic types within the beach on 20 beaches in Korea. We selected 100 m transect, divided it into four transects and four sampling lines (backshore, middle line, high strandline, and water edge). The mean abundance from four lines was 222.05 ± 421.98 items/m2 and mean weight was 11.84±18.99 g/m2. Of all mesoplastics Styrofoam was overwhelmingly dominant and the proportion of it was 73.3% on a basis of number. The abundances of mesoplastics differed from sampling lines within the beach, of which backshore had the most mesoplastics, followed by high strandline. Distribution of mesoplastics were different by plastic types. Relatively light plastics such as Styrofoam and film seemed to accumulate in the backshore, whereas hard plastic and fiber was likely to accumulate in high strandline more. The present study suggested that sampling strategies including selecting sampling spots on the beach, plastic types and defining size of plastics should be modified by the objective of research.



57. Temporal and Spatial Analysis of Microplastic Concentrations in Tampa Bay Surface Waters | presenting: Kinsley McEachern (USF- St. Petersburg); authors: Kinsley McEachern (USF- St. Petersburg), David Hastings (Eckerd College), Amelia Kalagher (Eckerd College), Cypress Hansen (), Henry Alegria (USF-St. Petersburg)

We sampled microplastics in the Tampa Bay estuarine surface waters from June 2016 to July 2017 in order to identify temporal and spatial differences in concentrations. The study will provide an understanding of how seasonal differences , circulation patterns, freshwater sources, and waste water treatment plant locations affect microplastic concentrations. Microplastics were collected by taking discrete water samples as well as plankton tows in the four different regions of Tampa Bay as well as surrounding rivers. Microplastics were identified through visual inspection under a dissecting microscope and a hot needle test was utilized to determine if the particles were plastic.

Discrete water samples yielded an average. concentration of 1.0 particles/ L in Old Tampa Bay, 0.7 particles/ L in Hillsborough Bay, 1.1 particles/ L in Middle Tampa Bay, and 0.9 particles/ L in Lower Tampa Bay. Samples taken with a 330 µm plankton net yielded an average concentration in Old Tampa Bay of 3.6 particles/ m3, 4.6 particles/m3 in Hillsborough Bay, 4.4 particles/ m3 for the Middle Tampa Bay region, and 5.8 particles/ m3 in Lower Tampa Bay.

For discrete samples the highest average concentration of microplastics throughout the study was in the Middle Tampa Bay region which is closely located to the effluent of the Little Manatee River. For plankton tow samples the highest average concentration over the course of the study was in Hillsborough Bay which is next to the largest freshwater source, the Hillsborough River, as well as in Lower Tampa Bay which is close to the freshwater source of the mouth of the Manatee River. The highest concentrations of microplastics for both discrete and plankton net samples were taken in the summer months when rainfall and runoff was highest.



58. Wrightsville Beach Smoking Ban Preliminary Results | presenting: Sara Melick (University of North Carolina Wilmington); authors: Sara Melick (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Bonnie monteleone (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Brooks Avery (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

Cigarette filters are consistently the number one manmade debris discarded in the environment and have negative consequences, especially on beaches. There are documented cases of small children hospitalized from ingesting cigarette filters and cigarette filters found in dissected birds and fish. Furthermore, these filters are composed of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic, and can persist in the environment indefinitely.

A study conducted by The University of North Carolina Wilmington undergraduate students looked at the amounts of manmade debris found on Wrightsville Beach, NC, a smoke-free beach. Over the course of 4 years, 45 undergraduate students gained field research experience collecting over 500 samples. Focusing on the data collected from discarded cigarette filters showed the smoking ban was effective in reducing the amount. The data also revealed that the piers are hot spot areas. Cigarette filters continue to be the number one item found on Wrightsville Beach, which led to recommendations for better marine debris management.



59. Bridging community work and academia | presenting: Sarah-Jeanne Royer (Daniel K. Inouye Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa,); authors: Sarah-Jeanne Royer (Daniel K. Inouye Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa,), Mugdha Flores (Sustainable Coastlines, Hawaii), Katie Ziemann (Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii), Kahi Pacarro (Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii)

Although the Hawaiian Islands are small and remote, their location in the Pacific results in high amounts of marine debris found on beaches and in surrounding waters. Marine debris travels significant distance from the edges of the Pacific Rim before reaching the coastlines of Hawaii. Thankfully, numerous organizations to bring people together to clean beaches and reefs; however, their mission can only succeed if combined with prevention based on educational outreach, laws, and best business practices. Ultimately, fundamental research on the dynamics and impacts of marine debris is necessary to ensure that measures are adequate and efficient. Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii (SCH) has been very successful in organizing and utilizing beach cleanups, educational programs, social media to inspire better consumer behaviors and continued coastal stewardship. SCH gathered an impressive data collection since 2011 that can be used by the scientific community to assess the impact of marine debris in Hawaii. SCH executed 87 beach cleanups on 6 Hawaiian Islands and the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National monument accounting for the removal of 308,638 lbs of marine debris. Since 2017, SCH developed a partnership with International Volunteer Head Quarter , where volunteers visit Hawaii to learn about plastic pollution, its implications and participate in data collection. Volunteers are part of a survey where they track the abundance of nurdles on Kahuku and Kailua beaches to assess weekly changes across locations and seasons. The results show the presence of nurdles at both locations, across time, indicating a constant input from non-local sources. Through beach-cleanups and nurdle surveys, SCH has engaged local and international volunteers to gather scientific data on marine debris, to ultimately change policy and consumer behaviors.



60. Importance of local source versus long-range transport of marine litter in Arctic Greenland | presenting: Jakob Strand (Aarhus University); authors: Jakob Strand (Aarhus University), Marine Cusa (Aarhus University), Robin Lenz (Aarhus University), Lis Bach (Aarhus University)

Marine litter pollution in the ocean has today also found its way in the Arctic marine environment. Adding on to the potential long-range transport of especially plastic debris into the Arctic region, the local sources can also be significant. Survey data from 2016-2017 suggests that the occurrence of relatively high amounts as well as the composition of beach litter in West Greenland relate more to local sources than in East Greenland, where the litter dominantly originates from sea-based activities and potential long-range transport. Studies on ingestion of plastic particles by the northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) from West Greenland collected in year 2000 and 2016 find that the plastic particles are dominated by polymers (identified with FT-IR) with densities < 1 g cm-3 supporting that the main contribution originates from floating plastics. 35 % of the birds from 2016 contained more than 0.1 g plastic in their stomachs indicating that seabirds in West Greenland are more impacted by plastic debris than other studied fulmar populations in the Arctic. The data established here for beach litter and fulmars can potentially be used as input for defining baseline levels used for future spatial and temporal trend assessments in the region.



61. Our coasts are trashed, now what? Seeking effective trash solutions from urban creek Monitoring data | presenting: Theresa Sinicrope Talley (California Sea Grant); authors: Nina Venuti (California Sea Grant), Theresa Sinicrope Talley (California Sea Grant)

A number of trash monitoring efforts in California watersheds have revealed the types and distributions of trash in urban coastal environments; needed now is a translation of this information into strategies that will reduce (or eliminate) trash pollution. A trash removal tracking effort this past year in mid-city San Diego revealed that 87 cu meters (8.3 mt) of trash accumulated along an only 1 km-long reach of urban creek. Longer-term monitoring in this and nearby creeks revealed that most trash enters the watershed through illegal dumping, homeless encampments and storm drain flows. Most of the meso-trash (2-25 cm length) was dominated by plastics (53±9% of total volume), in particular food-related wrappers and packaging (67±7% of total plastic volume). Tiny plastics (0.5-20 mm) line these seasonal creek beds (100% of sites, up to 45,787±31,380 pieces m-2 in the top 5 cm of soil) likely due to the deterioration of larger plastic items (65-100% non-pellet plastics). Plastic bags were more susceptible to entanglement than plastic bottles or polystyrene cups, which washed quickly downstream, during a 150-day study in two study creek beds. Downstream, 12-25% of wetland and bay fishes consumed plastics, posing potential health risks to the fishes and their consumers. Community cleanups are an important trash control strategy in many areas, but the constant inputs and inaccessibility of much trash make them Sisyphean efforts that may not sufficiently address the problem. With humans at the source and receiving end of the marine debris issue, collaborations with industry, local government, sociologists, economists and the public are desperately needed to develop long-term solutions.



62. Balloon Litter Monitoring on Virginia’s Remote Beaches: Surprising Results and Next Steps | presenting: Christina Trapani (Clean Virginia Waterways); authors: Christina Trapani (Clean Virginia Waterways), Kathy O’Hara (Clean Virginia Waterways), Katie Register (Clean Virginia Waterways)

Prefer Poster:

In 2011, staff from Clean Virginia Waterways and the Virginia Aquarium created a website for citizen scientists to report balloon-related litter in Virginia. In 2013, as data from this effort began to accumulate, researchers O’Hara and Trapani embarked on a project to collect detailed documentation of balloon-related litter on Virginia’s more remote beaches, virtually inaccessible to the general public. Five survey locations were chosen for their proximity to each other (a somewhat even sampling of the state’s coastline) and accessibility. Protocols were developed to provide detailed information on numerous parameters including type of balloon (foil, latex, only ribbon, or weather balloon), condition (burst, deflated, nub or piece), color, shape, size, occasion and promotional markings, ribbons and other attachments, beach location (high, mid or low) and other unique findings. GPS coordinates and images were taken prior to removal and all balloon litter was collected and archived.

Data compiled from 43 surveys conducted from 2013-2017 showed more than 5,400 pieces of balloon-related litter collected. Preliminary analysis shows latex balloons comprise the majority of balloon findings overall (47%) followed by foil (36%) and ribbons only (17%). Most latex balloons were in the burst condition (49%) whereas foil balloons were mostly deflated (72%). More than 450 balloons were imprinted with messages indicative of special occasions and company logos. As analyses continues it will be interesting to see whether there are obvious differences among these parameters between sites.

These are the type of results that will be used as one indicator of the success of a Community-Based Social Marketing project targeting balloon releases currently taking place in Virginia as well as for educating the public.



63. Seabirds in politics – the Northern Fulmar in EU marine litter policies. | presenting: Jan van Franeker (Wageningen Marine Research); authors: Jan van Franeker (Wageningen Marine Research), Susanne Kühn (Wageningen Marine Research), Elisa Bravo Rebolledo (Wageningen Marine Research)

By its irrational habit to ingest marine plastic litter, the Northern Fulmar has established itself as a guide for EU policy makers and general public. Seabirds thus can contribute to positive change. Results of long-term monitoring of plastic ingestion by fulmars in the Netherlands will be presented in detail and discussed in the light of data from other geographical areas.



64. Marine litter trends of beaches with different human-induced pressures on the European Atlantic coast (Portugal) | presenting: Filipa Bessa (MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Coimbra, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal); authors: Filipa Bessa (MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Coimbra, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal), João Vaz (ECOGESTUS Lda, Waste Management Consulting, Figueira da Foz, Portugal.), Paula Sobral (MARE-NOVA – Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Campus da Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal), João Carlos Marques (1 MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Coimbra, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal)

Marine litter on sandy beaches is an issue of major current concern due to its ecological and economic impacts. Yet our understanding of the distribution and composition of beach litter and the drivers of these variation are still limited and constitute an important way to inform the local authorities to develop policy strategies to address the problem of marine litter on coastal areas. In this study, the abundance, weight and composition of marine debris were determined in four beaches with different human-induced pressures in the European Atlantic coast (Portugal). Sampling followed the OPAR recommendations and was performed in 4 beaches with different anthropogenic uses (industrial, urban, peri-urban and rural beaches) during winter 2016 and summer of 2017. So far, a total of 6408 items were characterized, with significant differences according to beach type and season. The “urban beach” registered the highest number of marine litter items (90% plastics), followed by the “industrial beach”, the peri-urban beach and the beach with less number of marine debris was the remote, non-habited beach.

This baseline results suggest that seasonal variations as well as urbanization of the coastline and beach users behaviour are the major factors influencing the levels of marine litter.

These results enhance the idea that urban areas are the main drivers for the occurrence of marine litter in this coastal stretch and that the presence of such litter could be effectively reduced by improving litter and waste collection systems and by raising awareness, increasing de facto behavioural changes to reduce marine litter in sandy beaches.



65. From Land to Sea – Model for the documentation of land-sourced plastic litter | presenting: Stephanie Cieplik (BKV GmbH); authors: Stephanie Cieplik (BKV GmbH)

A quantitative model for the estimation of total amounts of land-sourced plastics litter entering the sea has been developed. It is the first methodical approach to systematically document, structure and quantitatively evaluate the main discharge pathways and sources. The total amounts of plastics litter are split into the pathways/sources contributing (rivers, river navigation, coastlines, ports, landfills) and into particle size (micro vs. macro plastics).

The model is fed by available data and best estimates in case of insufficient data bases. It can continuously be complemented by newer or more reliable data. To model the loss of load during the transport, factors are introduced which consider transport losses for the mentioned pathways, socio-economic aspects etc. The used factors and the basic assumptions are continuously verified and further developed.

Due to the fact that the quality and quantity of the available data vary considerably between the studied areas of micro- and macroplastics, the data situation is assessed. The determined absolute discharge quantities should be regarded as an estimate based on the current knowledge and expert talks. Due to the dynamic character of the model and the many different variables, a sensitivity analysis has been carried out in order to investigate the influence of changes in input parameters on the final result. It shows that the difference between the minimum and maximum discharge are in a reasonable range.

The model can be applied to any sea or region worldwide. The prototype model has been developed for the plastics litter inputs of Germany into the North Sea. In 2018, an overall picture of the inputs of Germany into the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea will be available.

Free of charge: Report and handbook (German/English) at



66. Global plastic waste input to the ocean from inland, coastal and marine sources | presenting: Timnit Kefela (University of California, Santa Barbara); authors: Timnit Kefela (University of California, Santa Barbara), William Burke (University of California, Santa Barbara), Jessica Couture (University of California, Santa Barbara), Violaine Desgens-Martin (University of California, Santa Barbara), Patrick Hunnicutt (University of California, Santa Barbara), Niklas Griessbaum (University of California, Santa Barbara), Julia Lawson (University of California, Santa Barbara), Alice Lépessier (University of California, Santa Barbara), Laura Urbisci (University of California, Santa Barbara), Roland Geyer (University of California, Santa Barbara)

A critically important part of addressing the problems caused by plastic marine debris is to have a robust understanding of all types of sources and their magnitudes. Despite receiving widespread attention in academic and policy communities, the total annual flow of plastic debris to the ocean remains uncertain. There is a recent peer-reviewed study (Jambeck et al. 2015) that estimated the mass of land-based plastic waste entering the ocean , and a consultancy report providing an estimate of the total inputs. However, a robust, peer-reviewed assessment of global flows from terrestrial and marine sources is still absent from the literature. We attempt to address this lacunae, using source-specific methods to include unstudied sources and improve upon unverifiable estimates found in the “grey” literature. One of the unexplored sources of global plastic flows are tsunamis. Our preliminary finding is that their average annual contribution is around 2.4 million metric tons. We also develop new — and refine existing — estimation strategies and leverage new and robust data. One important example are land-based textile microfiber inputs. Our preliminary finding for this source is an estimated annual input of 0.4 million metric tons. Detailed and robust assessments of all global plastic flows into the ocean are critical to better understand environmental impacts of marine plastic debris and develop effective mechanisms for the regulation and management of plastic waste and plastic marine debris. Citation: Jambeck et al. (2015) Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean. Science, 6223:768-771.



67. Marine Debris in New Zealand | presenting: Ella van Gool (University of Waikato); authors: Ella van Gool (University of Waikato)

All of the ocean’s surface waters, coastlines and seabeds contain anthropogenic litter, including high levels of litter found in the ice of poles, and on remote islands. The world’s five main gyres and coastal zones are known collection points for litter. Global patterns of currents and prevailing winds can deposit marine debris far from where it entered the ocean. However, the problem of marine debris has received very little scientific attention in New Zealand, an OECD island nation in the Southern Hemisphere. The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) and Statistics New Zealand have identified that the lack of national data hampers the development and implementation of policy, measures, and tools to mitigate this issue. Furthermore, MfE and the Department of Conservation (DoC) recently published their science research priorities for the coming five years (2017-2021), calling for, amongst others, monitoring tools for the marine environment.

The aim of this research is to set a sound scientific baseline for a national marine debris survey. This will facilitate detection of potential regional differences, national comparisons, and an effective baseline against which to measure or evaluate (future) management or policy changes. This research will also enable follow-on research in fields such as microplastic research, invasive species, environmental planning, environmental, ocean and coastal policy development.

The research questions address the effects of population density and local waste management strategies. In addition this research will examine the effects of hardened coast lines on local marine debris distribution.



68. Microplastics in benthic fauna and sediments in Arctic waters and local inputs | presenting: Jakob Strand (Aarhus University); authors: Lis Bach (Institut for Bioscience), Maria Granberg (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute), Geir Gabrielsen (Norwegian Polar Institute), Kerstin Magnusson (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute), Jakob Strand (Aarhus University)

Plastic pollution in the ocean has today also found its way in the Arctic marine environment. Adding on to the potential long-range transport of especially plastic debris into the Arctic region, the local sources can also be significant. Local input was investigated in an arctic town, Sisimiut, Greenland, where wastewater is lead untreated into the sea and waste handling is less adequate. When plastic particles are released into the marine environment, they may settle and accumulate in marine sediments. It is therefore key to investigate uptake and bioaccumulation processes in benthic food chains when aiming to understand the fate and effects of microplastics in the marine environment. Sediment samples were collected in gradients from an area impacted by harbor activities, sewage outlets and from the dump site along with benthic biota and the amounts and composition of microplastic particles were determined. Similar samples were collected at reference sites in an undisturbed fjord for assessing background levels. Microplastic characterization in samples was supported by FT-IR analyses. The results showed a clear gradient of microplastic particles from local urban sources and in sediments it was dominated by polymer materials with densities > 1 g cm-3. The amounts and composition in benthic biota will be discussed in relation to the sediment findings and set in relation to an understanding of the sources and fate of microplastics in the marine environment.



69. Microplastics in Tampa Bay, Florida: Abundance, Spatial and Temporal Variability in Natural Waters and Waste Water Treatment Plants | presenting: David Hastings (Eckerd College); authors: David Hastings (Eckerd College), Kinsley McEachern (University of South Florida St Petersburg), Cypress Hansen (Eckerd College), Amelia Kalagher (Eckerd College)

We have been sampling microplastics for the past 5 years in Tampa Bay, FL using various collection methods: discrete water samples, plankton net towed for 3 minutes, surface sediments, and at wastewater treatment plants. Water samples were filtered at 0.45mm; tow samples were split 5x and digested with Proteinase K; sediment samples were processed with an elutriation column and separated with a NaI solution. Microplastics were identified under a dissecting microscope with confirmation by a hot metal needle that deforms plastic fragments.

Discrete water samples yielded a microplastics concentration, averaged over the year and throughout Tampa Bay, of 0.9 (0.2) particles/L, 20-65% higher in the rainy summer. Plankton net samples resulted in substantially lower abundance, averaging 0.005 particles/L. The highest tow value of 0.046 particles/L was at the mouth of the Alafia River, a primary freshwater source. Microplastics in sediment samples ranged from 3-152 particles/100g, averaging 45/100g. The highest values were close to the mouth of the Alafia River (57/100g) and in the heavily industrialized Ybor Channel (152/100g).

Effluent from wastewater treatment plants was sampled over a day, a week, and several months. Microplastics concentration was typically an order of magnitude greater than estuarine values, suggesting that most microplastics and microfibers from laundry are removed. Temporal trends showed a peak on weekends, when clothing is typically washed: 3x higher on Saturday and double on Sunday, compared to the weekday average.

Since many natural biotic particles appear similar to microplastics, confirmation with a hot needle is essential. Airborne contamination is common and can lead to substantial errors. We continue to monitor microplastics in Tampa Bay to constrain temporal variation.



70. The influence of meteorological and oceanographic events on the small-scale temporal variation of solid waste deposition on gradient estuarine shorelines | presenting: Allan Paul Krelling (IFPR); authors: Marina Bettim (UFPR – PGSISCO), Allan Paul Krelling (IFPR), Alexander Turra (University of São Paulo (USP), Department of Biological Oceanography, Oceanographic Institute (IOUSP))

The present study aims at establishing relationships between debris deposition and small-scale meteorological and oceanographic events (precipitation, wind, tide, and river flow). The samples were collected during 60 consecutive days in two Brazilian beaches in Pontal do Paraná. The first site (Assenodi) is at the outermost area of an estuary, which is exposed to the action of waves and to southern, southeastern, and easterly winds. The second site (Canto das Pedras) is sheltered from direct wave action and is located at an estuarine outlet. Assenodi accounted for 29% of the total debris collected, while Canto das Pedras accounted for 71%. The higher influence of domestic plastic debris was observed in both sites, suggesting the influence of waste coming from the estuary’s inner municipalities for the whole region. The lower depositional rates of items are preceded by higher precipitation events for both sites. The strand of debris also varied among beaches according to wind conditions. Stranding of debris increased after events of intense winds (wind speeds of 2 to 4 m/s), varying spatially: after a 2-day action period in Assenodi and a 3-day period in Canto das Pedras. Tides also influenced deposition in both sites and the explanatory model indicated a linear relation in Assenodi and a unimodal behavior in Canto das Pedras. The river flow influenced positively debris accumulation in Canto das Pedras. Thus, the daily dynamics of meteorological and oceanographic events express variations in the arrival of marine litter in temporal and spatial scales.



71. Governess initiated by general public in minimising land based marine debris from thirteen islands of Cochin Backwater, Arabian Sea | presenting: Roasamma Stephen (National Institute of Oceanography (Retired)); authors: Roasamma Stephen (National Institute of Oceanography (Retired)), Dr. Nirmala Padmanabhan (St. Teresa’s College), Anju George (), Karthika K (St. Teresa’s College), Jyotsna Raghunandan (St. Teresa’s College), Dr. Anjali A G (School Of Medical Education)



72. JRC LITTERCAM for Monitoring of riverine floating macro litter | presenting: Georg Hanke (European Commission Joint Research Centre); authors: Georg Hanke (European Commission Joint Research Centre), Fausto Bonavitacola (), Daniel Gonzalez (European Commission Joint Research Centre)

The quantification of macro litter floating at sea and in rivers is challenging, due to the need for long term observations in order to cope with temporal variability and environmental conditions. Visual monitoring by human observers can only be done for limited time periods and a physical collection of riverine litter in most cases is not possible. There is need for methodologies that provide unbiased documentation and results comparability in order to derive litter flux data from rivers to the seas. Within the JRC exploratory project RIMMEL (RIverine and Marine floating macro litter monitoring and Modelling of Environmental Loading) an autonomous system for the monitoring of floating macro litter in rivers has been developed. The system consists of an industrial high resolution (25 Megapixel) CMOS camera with a computer system for management and data storage, linked to an environmental sensor array. Image recognition software with a specifically developed ruleset provides for multistep identification of floating objects. Image acquisition speed is typical ca. 1 image/second, so that weeklong deployments are possible. The presentation provides the system set-up and its test application on different bridges.



73. Fishing4Plastic Tournaments to Quantify Floating Marine Macro Litter | presenting: Bonnie monteleone (The Plastic Ocean Project, Inc.); authors: Bonnie monteleone (The Plastic Ocean Project, Inc.), Tammy Bleier (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Erin Cummings (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Lisa Rider (Onslow County Solid Waste Department)

Floating Marine Macro Litter is one of the more challenging to recover and often times becomes substrate habitat for marine life. For this reason, charter fishers look for natural debris e.g. Sargassum, an essential fish habitat, or manmade debris e.g. floating plastics, to find fish. June 3, 2107, Plastic Ocean Project organized the first ever Fishing4Plastic Tournament off the coast of Beaufort, NC, (a region known for accumulating windrows of Sargassum) as a public outreach and citizen science activity recruiting charter fishers along with community members to collectively reduce marine debris (not fish) from the ocean in a tournament spirited setting. This mutual participation increases awareness and prevention of marine debris by educating participants that (1) the debris collected can be linked to both the general population (e.g., plastic bottles, balloons, and wrappers) as well as the charter, commercial, and recreational fishing communities (e.g., bait containers, nets, and fishing line) (2) hand-netting debris from the ocean is much more difficult than picking it up on land, emphasizing the importance of reducing use and properly disposing of trash (3) the data can be quantified using the NOAA Marine Debris Tracker as well as with NOAA Marine Debris Shoreline Survey Field Guide data sheets and provide publishable citizen science data, and (4) the tournament style cleanups can be replicated around the globe and be incorporated into fishing tournaments as another prize competition. Winning teams are awarded quality prizes. This activity engages the community and the fishing industry to work together, building relationships and trust – and providing the participating fishers with an additional source of revenue.



74. Marine Debris Sensing with RapidScat and GPM | presenting: Mariko Burgin (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory); authors: Mariko Burgin (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Razi Ahmed (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Jan-Willem De Bleser (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Marine debris is defined as manufactured or processed solid material that finds its way into the marine environment or the Great Lakes. Winds and ocean currents carry floatable marine debris over long distances and rotating ocean currents called “gyres” trap it in accumulation zones. These gyres collect debris near their center, but because gyres are dynamic systems, a gyre’s exact size is difficult to measure. It is estimated that the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre is 7 to 9 million square miles in size. It is hence crucial to monitor and identify these dynamic and seasonally changing accumulation zones to allow timely marine debris removal.

In this study, we analyze data from RapidScat and the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission to assess if and what kind of marine debris can be observed with Ku-/Ka-band radars from space. RapidScat is a Ku-band radar providing dual-swath radar data from October 3, 2014 to August 19, 2016 at a spatial resolution of 7 km x 25 km. GPM was launched on February 27, 2014, and carries a Ku-/Ka-band radar with a spatial resolution of 5 km. A detailed analysis of the sensitivity of Ku-/Ka-band radar data to marine debris will be discussed at the talk.

The research described in this paper is supported by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.



75. Pelagic litter and its potential effects on whales in the Gulf of Maine | presenting: Jennifer Kennedy (Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation); authors: Jennifer Kennedy (Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation), Rebeca Murillo (Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation), Dianna Schulte (Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation), Michael Toepfer (University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension)

Marine debris is pervasive in the ocean and on the coastline. We know that it can harm wildlife and humans. Yet, the impacts of marine debris on cetaceans are not fully understood. Data collected on litter at sea, along with whale sightings, can provide a glimpse into what debris items are most prevalent the debris whales encounter during the summer. From 2011-2016, Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation staff, interns and volunteers recorded 15,725 pieces of litter aboard 1,906 whale watch trips in the Jeffreys Ledge and Stellwagen Bank regions of the Gulf of Maine. Sightings of humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), fin (Balaenoptera physalus) and minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) were also recorded, along with notes on whale behavior and the presence or absence of marine debris. Of the litter recorded, an average of 12% was seen near whales, some of which were engaged in behaviors such as surface feeding lead to contact with the debris. This presentation will discuss project methodology, limitations, results, and the applications of this data for education and resource management.



76. Macro and microdebris in marine mammals from Ireland: promoting standarization of protocols and research on top predators | presenting: Amy Lusher (Norwegian Institute of Water Research); authors: Amy Lusher (Norwegian Institute of Water Research), Gema Hernandez-Milian (University College Cork), Simon Berrow (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology), Emer Rogan (University College Cork), Ian O’Connor (Galway- Mayo Institute of Technology)

Mammals have been suggested as suitable monitoring species for pollution research and harmful effects from marine debris have been detected; microplastics have emerged as an additional threat. It is therefore necessary to develop protocols which are suitable for research groups with lower economic resources.

Digestive tracts of cetaceans and seals stranded and bycaught in Irish territory were investigated for marine debris from 1990 to 2016 (n=435). A particular focus was paid to microplastics between 2009 and 2015 (n=44). Each stomach chamber was individually dissected and intestines divided into 20 equal pieces, compartments were subsequently rinsed with prefiltered water and digested using a solution of 10% KOH, and filtered.

Nineteen species of marine mammal stranded within the study period (n = 2,936), and 241 presented signs of possible entanglement or interaction with fisheries. In addition, 325 marine mammals were recovered from fisheries activities. 528 digestive tracts were analysed, 12% contained marine debris. Macrodebris was detected in 23 marine mammals while 44 presented microplastics. Several different types of macrodebris were identified, with a 40% of them related to fisheries activities. Microplastics were detected in all animals studied. No significant relationship was found between incidence of marine litter and presence of food or ecological habitat, although higher incidence of macrodebris was detected in deep diving species. Most microplastic were blue/black/grey fibers (85%; mean length 28 mm). Further research of debris implications is required to understand the effects of these pollutants in marine food webs.


77. Interactions between marine debris and brown boobies (Sula leucogaster) and masked boobies (Sula dactylatra) on Clipperton Atoll | presenting: Meaghan Sorce (Harvard University); authors: Meaghan Sorce (Harvard University), Sean Rothwell (New England Aquarium)

Clipperton Atoll, is a small, isolated atoll in the Pacific Ocean, 768 nautical miles south of Cabos San Lucas, Mexico. Clipperton is home to the one of the largest colonies of Masked boobies in the world, with a population recently estimated at 110,000 birds. In May, 2017, I traveled to this atoll to conduct the first quantitative marine debris survey to be done on Clipperton.

In addition to this marine debris survey, the interaction between plastics and the large Booby population was also a topic of interest. There have been many observations of birds using human trash as nesting material, as well as possible mate attractants. After observing and documenting dozens of nests on Clipperton, plastics were found in many of the nest structures, not only as practical construction materials, but also in what appear to be aesthetic decisions. Several nests documented, included monochromatic color schemes, most commonly incorporated plastics were shades of bright blue.

To get a sense of whether or not plastic has made its way into the Clipperton birds’ diets, I opened up the stomachs of 33 deceased birds, found on different parts of the island. Of the stomach and throat cavities examined, only one bird contained visible plastic.

Due to the high volume of plastic debris on Clipperton Atoll, and other studies done on birds living in similar conditions, it was somewhat shocking that more of the deceased birds examined did not contain visible plastic. One possible explanation could have to do with the healthy fish populations found around Clipperton Atoll. This, combined with the Boobies’ highly developed eyesight and plunge-dive feeding technique, could result in a decreased likelihood of mistaking plastic as a food source, and explain why only one bird sampled had plastic in its stomach.



78. Predictive model of coastal debris accumulation | presenting: Marthe Larsen Haarr (Salt Lofoten AS); authors: Marthe Larsen Haarr (Salt Lofoten AS), Levi Westerveld (GRID-Arendal), Kjersti Eline Busch (Salt Lofoten AS), Joan Fabres (Grid-Arendal), Kriss Rokkan Iversen (Salt Lofoten AS)

The Marine Debris Removal Planner is an interactive mapping tool developed to (1) optimise the use of public funds spent on marine debris pollution remediation and mitigation, and (2) enable coastal cleanup crews to succeed in delivering a steady supply of recovered materials into a circular economy value chain. Our tool is based on a scientifically derived predictive model of coastal litter accumulation sites based on coastline characteristics. The predictive model will identify the stretches of coastline likely to have a high concentration of litter within a stakeholder´s area of interest. The outcome of the use of this modeling tool is the efficient channeling of public funds earmarked for coastal cleanup, and the ability of material’s recovery actions targeting marine litter in a circular economy framework to succeed by identifying the optimal collection plan.

The predictive capacity of The Marine Debris Removal Planner is illustrated through the field data used to generate the model prototype. At the locations with the eight highest scores, the average litter density was 75 items per 100 m2. In comparison, the average litter density following repeated random selections of eight locations was only 13 items per 100 m2, and as low as 5 items per 100 m2 for sand beaches traditionally selected for coastal cleanup actions. When fully developed the Marine Debris Removal Planner will become a valuable tool in optimizing clean-up actions nationally and internationally. The elegant structure of the model, using mainly freely available coastline data and not depending on the use of models requiring a large data-processing-capacity, makes it highly scalable.



79. Assessment and Monitoring of Plastics and Microplastics in the Ocean: Supporting a Harmonised Approach | presenting: francois Galgani (IFREMER); authors: francois Galgani (IFREMER)

Concern about the quantity of plastic debris in the ocean has grown rapidly in recent years, in terms of governance and policy, the private sector, environmental NGOs, special interest groups, the media and amongst the scientific community. In response, GESAMP WG40 undertook an initial assessment of ‘Sources, fate and effects of microplastics in the marine environment – a global assessment’, published in 2015. A second phase assessment was initiated with an updated set of results published in in 2016, contributing to a wider study of marine marine litter, presented at the Second UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2, April 2016). During the 43rd Session of GESAMP (Nairobi, 2016) it was agreed that the working group should conduct a third phase, re-focussing on three revised Terms of Reference : 1 sampling methodologies, 2 the impacts of nanoplastics, and 3 plastics as a vector for organisms, with first priority given to ToR 1. The objectives for ToR 1 are to develop guidelines for the assessment and monitoring of plastics and microplastics in the oceans, in order to better support a harmonised approach, a step towards global monitoring of the world ocean. Considering marine litter as a global issue, it will review the existing initiatives and actions plans, provide advice and practical guidance on setting up a monitoring and assessment programme for marine plastics and microplastics, including: i) the basic principles of monitoring and assessment; ii) monitoring methods, including recommended sampling protocols; iii) methodologies for physical and chemical identification of items and analysis of polymers; iv) requirements for monitoring and assessment, including strategies, harmonisation, data quality and management; and, v) propose future developments and recommendations. More generally, the work will support to the develo



81. LITTERBASE: An Online Portal for the Distribution of Marine Litter and Microplastics and Their Implications for Marine Life | presenting: Mine B. Tekman (Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research); authors: Mine B. Tekman (Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research), Melanie Bergmann (Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research), Lars Gutow (Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research)

Contamination of the oceans with anthropogenic litter is a global environmental problem which currently receives increasing attention by scientists, policy makers, public authorities, media and the general public. Although research efforts have been intensified, they often do not provide stakeholders with easily understandable information about the dimensions and the extent of the problem. We have developed an online portal to provide easily digestible and continuously updated information on marine litter and microplastics to stakeholders based on scientific literature on a global scale. LITTERBASE gives insight about the distribution of marine litter and its effects on marine biota. Data from 1,420 scientific studies (status 09/10/2017) have been compiled into global maps and real-time graphs to make scientific knowledge accessible to the public. Bibliometric data of all publications were entered, as were metadata pertaining to litter type, litter size, litter quantity unit, aquatic system, biome and total litter quantity. Litter quantities were standardised to the most frequently used units to achieve comparability. Data on biological interactions with litter were also extracted: location of field records, number of species affected, percentage of individuals affected, type of interaction, effects on biota, litter type, litter size, aquatic system and biome. Currently, 1,441 species (status 09/10/2017) have been found to interact with marine litter resulting in mortality in almost 20% of the cases. Web statistics reveal that the information displayed in the LITTERBASE online portal is continuously being retrieved by users from all over the world.



Track: Research & Microplastics/Microfibers


82. Physical factors affecting plastic debris load on beaches | presenting: Nicolas Biber (University of Plymouth); authors: Nicolas Biber (University of Plymouth), Richard Thompson (University of Plymouth), Andy Foggo (University of Plymouth)

Beach surveys present an efficient way to assess the abundance of plastic in the marine environment. However, they are susceptible to variation from local factors other than actual quantities of at-sea debris abundance, such as local littering and litter removal, beach morphodynamics (e.g. slope, wave climate), beach exposure and weather. With progressing deterioration of existing debris, small debris constitutes an increasingly important portion of marine debris. This study aims to identify environmental factors that promote the accumulation of small plastic debris to better understand the dynamics of the debris load on the shoreline. Using a rapid survey method, the contamination by small plastic debris of 52 beaches was measured. These beaches were characterised according to their environmental variables extracted from a weather database, and a survey of beach morphodynamics. Beach curvature and apex towards the open sea were assessed cartographically. The power of these environmental variables in explaining debris load patterns was tested. The findings showed that small plastic debris contamination changed over time and was linked to hydrodynamic parameters more strongly than to wind. Results also showed that two overreaching factors, retention and deposition, influenced small plastic debris contamination in the same way, but that these factors may be conversely linked to physical parameters such as beach exposure or wave action.



83. Tracking and identifying floating marine debris | presenting: Kyriaki Kylili (University of Nicosia); authors: Kyriaki Kylili (University of Nicosia), Alessandro Artusi (University of Cyprus), Ioannis Kyriakides (University of Nicosia), Constantinos Hadjistassou (University of Nicosia)

The amount litter and plastic debris that enters the oceans is increasing year by year. Due to the sheer scale of marine debris and its geographic distribution manually identifying and mapping marine debris becomes a herculean task. Herein we propose a novel way of identifying different types of floating marine debris at the free surface. The classification capabilities of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) and Bag of Features (BoF) methods were tested in the context of floating debris.

The motivation was to teach a classifier to accomplish the task of ranking different types of floating marine debris categories faster and more accurately than prevailing manual processes. Initially, we classified eight categories of which six comprised marine debris and the other two of marine life. More specifically, the categories included: plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic buckets, polystyrene, plastic buoys fishing gear, fishing nets, dolphins and marine turtles. Comparing the performance of the abovementioned methods on the eight categories we observe that the CNN methods yields better results in terms of validation accuracy that exceeds a human observer. Notably, the CNN method attained a validation accuracy >98% while the BoF methods resulted in 79%.

Subsequently, the CNN and the BoF techniques were used to identify the types of floating debris. Simultaneous classification and recognition of surface debris are key to determining and monitoring marine litter— the first effort of its kind to be reported.



84. Methods for the detection of microplastics ingested by fish | presenting: Cecilia Silvestri (Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA)); authors: Nikoletta Digka (Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR)), Catherine Tsangaris (Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR)), Giuseppe Andrea de Lucia (Institute for Coastal Marine Environment-National Research Council (IAMC-CNR)), Luca Palazzo (Institute for Coastal Marine Environment-National Research Council (IAMC-CNR)), Ana Pérez del Olmo (Science Park, Marine Zoology Unit, Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology University of Valencia Paterna), Toni Raga (Science Park, Marine Zoology Unit, Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology University of Valencia Paterna), Claude Miaud (PSL Research University, CEFE UMR 5175, CNRS, Université de montpellier, Université Paul-Valéry montpellier, EPHE, Biogéographie et Ecologie des Vertébrés), Delphine Gambaiani (PSL Research University, CEFE UMR 5175, CNRS, Université de montpellier, Université Paul-Valéry montpellier, EPHE, Biogéographie et Ecologie des Vertébrés), Paolo Tomassetti (Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA)), Marco Matiddi (Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA))

The MEDSEALITTER project aims to detect microplastic ingestion by fish inside and outside Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas. Starting from a literature review, we applied and tested methods proposed for the detection of ingested microplastic in order to adopt a common methodology among partners. The efficiency of three tissue digestion methods was tested (H2O2 15%, H2O2 30%, KOH 10%) on gastrointestinal tracts of 25 anchovies (Engraulis encrasicolus). Fish tissue (aprox. 0.60g) was enriched with specific number of microplastics ranging from 300-1000 um (10 particles/ sample). Five types of plastic were tested: PE, PP, PVC, PS and PET. After digestion and filtration, samples were observed under stereoscope and microplastics were counted. Ultrasonic separation method was also tested. Two mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) were exposed to 0.060g of PE particles (300- 1000 um) individually in 1L tanks for one day. Digestive gland and gills were extracted. Among the three digestion methods, H2O2 15% seems to be the most efficient in terms of both digestion efficiency and time consumed. According to our results, H2O2 15% indicated the highest percentage of recovery (94%), following this of KOH (92%) and that of H2O2 30% (86%). In terms of time needed for each digestion method both H2O2 15% and 30% were the fastest with no significant difference between them. KOH 10% needed more than 7 days to sufficiently digest organic matter, but was the most efficient method in terms of tissue digestion although pieces of tissues were visible in the sample after digestion. Ultrasonic treatment resulted in partial separation of microplastics from tissue, since few particles remained in the tissues after treatment, however further investigation is needed.



85. Macroplastic counts at sea in eastern Sicily, Mediterranean Sea | presenting: Silvia Frey (OceanCare); authors: Silvia Frey (OceanCare)

It is evident today that plastic debris is a major threat to marine life. The Mediterranean Sea has been identified as one of the worldwide “hotspots” for land- and sea-based sources of plastic and microplastics. However, information on the quantitative extent of marine plastic pollution and the temporal evolution of the abundance of floating plastics are still lacking. In the context of a long-term cetacean monitoring project in eastern Sicily (incl. Strait of Messina), Mediterranean Sea, we started to examine the extent of the plastic pollution in the surface waters based on visual debris counts.

Floating debris on the water surface has been counted continuously during line transect surveys and recorded on a standardised protocol in 20-minute intervals. Counts were assigned to 12 categories (e.g. fragments, nets, bags, and non-plastics). Density maps (plastic items/km2) have been established.

Floating debris has been counted during 298nm and 690nm in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Our results confirm that floating debris is ubiquitous as almost no count interval resulted in 0 observed floating items. More than 50% of observed debris consisted of plastic fragments. Highest numbers of floating plastic items have been found in the more northern part of the study area near the Strait of Messina.

Our first study results allow to identify local “hotspots” of floating plastic debris in the study area and thus add information about the habitat quality. Our sampling efforts will be continued in the future and complemented by microplastic surface sampling, as well as the analysis of the chemical composition of both floating plastic and microplastic. Moreover, our data may serve as a basis for future modelling approaches to better understand the spatial and temporal distribution of floating plastic debris in the are



86. Spatio-temporal distribution of coastal plastics in the Western Mediterranean | presenting: montserrat Compa (Instituto Español de Oceanografía); authors: montserrat Compa (Instituto Español de Oceanografía), Carme Alomar (Instituto Español de Oceanográfia), Salud Deudero (Instituto Español de Oceanografía)

Coastal ecosystems are continuously affected by anthropogenic threats such as urbanization, maritime activities, recreation and more recently plastic marine litter. Plastics enter the environment through terrestrial and maritime activities and overtime degrade posing a potential threat to marine wildlife. The current study aims to quantify and identify the spatial distribution of marine plastics over time in coastal ecosystems of the Island of Mallorca in the archipelago of the Balearic Islands located in the Western Mediterranean Sea. Sea surface samples were collected during summer months in 2017 (July, August and September) at seven locations across the island within 500 meters of the coastline. Three samples at each location were collected for posterior quantification of floating plastics at the laboratory to assess autocorrelation within sampling locations. Plastic items was observed in all 21 samples of July of varying sizes, ranging from macro- (> 25 mm), meso- (5-25 mm) and micro-plastics (< 5 mm). Plastic litter concentrations were heterogeneous with mean values ranging from 0.02 ± 0.01 to 0.38 ±0.14 items/m3 (mean ±SD). Initial results show plastics were present in the sea surface at all sampling locations surrounding the island, composed principally of fragments, films and filaments. These preliminary results indicate the coastal marine plastic concentrations are similar to those found offshore in the Western Mediterranean Sea.



87. Floating macro and microplastics in the Mediterranean Sea: is there a spatial overlap? | presenting: Giuseppe Suaria (CNR-ISMAR); authors: Giuseppe Suaria (CNR-ISMAR), Paolo Celentano (CNR-ISMAR), Stefano Aliani (CNR-ISMAR)

The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most impacted regions of the world by marine litter, however detailed knowledge on the existing relationship between the distribution of different plastic size classes in off-shore environments is still limited. We present the results of a large-scale synoptic survey of floating macro (> 2 cm) and micro (< 5 mm) plastics performed in the central and western Mediterranean basin with the main goal of improving our understanding of the size distribution of plastic items at sea. During two consecutive cruises, the abundance of floating macro-litter (FML) was estimated through visual survey techniques (line transect/distance sampling), while microplastics were sampled at the same time and locations using a 200 m Neuston net. The concentrations of both size fractions were computed and expressed as number of items/km^2, then the spatial correlation between size classes was explored and graphically represented at different grid resolutions throughout the study area. A very high level of spatial heterogeneity in both macro and microplastic abundance was found, however no significant basin-scale correlation emerged between the two variables. FML abundance in Mediterranean surface waters is not always correlated to the abundance of microplastics and vice-versa, accumulation areas of synthetic microparticles do not always correspond to high concentrations of FML. No significant correlation with environmental variables such as salinity and sea surface temperature was found, suggesting that macro and micro-debris do not always originate from the same sources and they probably respond to different drivers at different spatio-temporal scales.



89. From Rivers to Lake – Variability in the Vertical Distribution of Microplastics in the Water Column and Surficial Sediment in Milwaukee, WI | presenting: Sherri Mason (State University of New York at Fredonia); authors: Peter Lenaker (United States Geological Survey), Steven Corsi (United States Geological Survey), Austin Baldwin (United States Geological Survey), Sherri Mason (State University of New York at Fredonia)

Microplastics–plastic particles less than 5mm in diameter–have become a contaminant of concern in freshwater systems. However, to date, most freshwater research has focused on surface plastics to quantify occurrence and abundance. Little, if any, research has been done to characterize microplastic prevalence at different depths within the water column under different environmental conditions. In order to examine the spatial distribution in the urban waterways, vertical distribution in the water column, and accumulation of microplastic particles in stream and lake sediment, sampling was conducted across ten locations ranging from rivers to nearshore Lake Michigan. Surface-water samples were collected using a 3 foot by 1.3 foot 0.335 mm mesh neuston net. At six of the ten sampling locations (those for which had a depth greater than 0.9 meters) additional water samples were collected at certain depth intervals within the water column using a 6-inch diameter 0.335 mm mesh net. Additionally, one surface sediment (top 10-20cm) sample was composited from multiple subsamples at nine of the sampling locations.



90. Microplastics in a North Queensland River, quantifying plastic sources in the Great Barrier Reef | presenting: Anne Bauer-Civiello (James Cook University); authors: Anne Bauer-Civiello (James Cook University), Mia Hoogenboom (James Cook University), Mark Hamann (James Cook University)

Microplastics have been recorded in oceans around the world. However, understanding the sources on a local scale remains a large knowledge gap in the scientific community. Recent research has shown that rivers can transport large quantities of plastic pollution to the ocean. This is often attributed to sewage, storm water drains, and pollution effluents entering directly into the river, which later flows into the ocean. Further identifying river systems as a source is important to understanding marine plastic pollution at a finer scale, and can help provide insight on how to mitigate the problem on a local scale. In Australia, microplastics have been recorded in surrounding oceans nation wide, but little is known about the sources contributing to sensitive habitats, such as the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The following research focuses on microplastic abundance in the surface water and sediments of a north Queensland river, which is influenced by storm water effluents. Samples were collected before and after heavy rain periods to determine plastic runoff within the river outside the storm drains, and into the nearshore reefs of the GBR.



91. Implementation of a sensitive GCMS-Pyr based technology to estimate fluxes of microplastics in sewage treatment plants | presenting: Alessio Gomiero (International Resarch Intitute of Stavanger); authors: Alessio Gomiero (International Resarch Intitute of Stavanger), Geir Skogerbø (IVAR IKS), Kjell Birger Øyestad (International Resarch Institute of Stavanger), Mari Mæland (International Research Institute of Stavanger), Anne Vatland Krøvel (International Research Institute of Stavanger)

Substantial amounts of microplastic particles are likely to be collected in the sewage system, mainly deriving from cleaning of synthetic clothing, and waste water disposal facilities have been identified as point sources of microplastic in the aquatic environment. Today’s waste water treatment plants (STP) are not designed to manage microplastics. The main objective of this study was to develop a standardized method to collect, quantify and characterize microplastic particles. This study aims at contributing to the knowledge about the possible significance of waste water treatment facilities as point sources of micro-plastic particles into food chains both in water and land. Special attention is addressed to the sewage sludge, a valuable by-product of the sewage treatment process being adopted in agriculture production. According to Scandinavian practice stabilized waste water sludge shall preferably be utilized on agricultural soil. However, more research is needed to understand the incidence, potential accumulation and biological adverse effects of micro-plastic in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. We have implemented a pyrolysis-gaschromatography-mass spectrometry (Pyr-GC-MS) methodology to waste water filtrates, sludge and plant material. Applied to waste water deriving from the Stavanger area, a typical Scandinavian urban settlement of about 250.000 inhabitants, the data obtained so far suggest a microplastic content (100-500 um) in the influx water of approximately 0.5 % of the water dry matter content, divided fairly evenly between the five plastic types tested. Application of the methodology to a wider range of WWTPs will bear out whether similar figures generally holds in a Scandinavian context.



92. Modeling plastic debris transport in the freshwater systems | presenting: Matthew Hoffman (Rochester Institute of Technology); authors: Matthew Hoffman (Rochester Institute of Technology), Rebecca Knauff (Rochester Institute of Technology), Eric Hittinger (Rochester Institute of Technology)

We will discuss numerical modeling of particles in the world’s largest lakes system (the Laurentian Great Lakes) to understand the fate and transport of plastic debris in this important freshwater system. We have developed two- and three-dimensional transport models for all five of the Laurentian Great Lakes which use velocity fields from operational forecast models to propagate simulated debris. The model allows particles to be propagated forward in time to compare with observed distributions and backward in time to estimate input locations for samples in the literature. Using these methods we will explore how much of the observed variability in current samples appears to be explained simply by physical transport. We can also explore the importance of the input distribution on simulated results. Finally, we will use the three-dimensional model to estimate the distribution and abundance of plastic debris in the bottom of the lakes. We will also highlight differences in modeling these freshwater systems vs. ocean systems and some of the challenges in modeling plastic debris in freshwater systems.



93. Microplastic Pollution in the Snake River: A ‘snap shot’ view from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to the Pacific Ocean | presenting: Kirsten Kapp (Central Wyoming College); authors: Kirsten Kapp (Central Wyoming College), Ellen Yeatman (Central Wyoming College)

In 2015, the United Nations recognized microplastics (plastic particles less than 5 mm) as one of the world’s most important emerging environmental contaminants. These particles threaten biota not only by physical harm, but they also adsorb potentially harmful toxins such as POP’s and metals while leaching out additives like phthalates and bisphenol A, suggesting a plausible risk for bioaccumulation in the food web. While microplastics are considered ubiquitous in the marine environment, less is known about their occurrence in freshwater systems. The Snake River, the largest tributary in the Columbia River Basin (1,078 miles), travels through Wyoming, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. The river is highly prized for its recreation, world class fishing and irrigation. Beginning in one of the least populated and intact ecosystems in the U.S, it flows through increasingly more populated areas and human dominated landscapes. This study is the first to report on the occurrence of microplastic particles in the Snake River and identifies potential hotspots worthy of more thorough investigation. Both grab (average sample volume 1.86L) and 100µm plankton net (average volume 3,328 L) samples were collected every 50 river miles along the Snake River from the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem to its confluence with the Columbia River, and along the Columbia to the Pacific Ocean (n = 28) June-August, 2016. Preliminary results from both sampling methods show that over 80% of samples contained microplastic. Sample concentrations ranged from 0 to 0.012 L-1 (plankton net samples) and from 0 to 7.027 L-1 (grab samples).



94. River discharge as a source of land-based plastic pollution in the Northwest Pacific Russia | presenting: Nikolai Kozlovskii (Pacific Geographical Institute FEB RAS); authors: Nikolai Kozlovskii (Pacific Geographical Institute FEB RAS), Anatolii Kachur (Pacific Geographical Institute FEB RAS (Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences))

Eight rivers discharging into the marine area of Northwest Pacific Russia were selected to assess the flux of microplastics into the coastal environment, including the Tumen River and the Suifen/Razdolnaya River. The samples were collected by neuston net (mesh size 0.1 mm) at depth 0-20 cm and by gasoline pump (capacity 15m3/hour) at depth below 20 cm in summer and fall 2016-2017. Four major plastic fragment types were revealed, including fibers, fragments, films, and EPS. The most frequent polymer types include PE, PP, PS, nylon, and polyester. Seasonal concentrations by number and weight were calculated for smaller microplastics (0.1-1 mm), larger microplastics (1-5 mm) and mesoplastics (5-25 mm). Summer concentrations of microplastic particles in the lower reaches of the Tumen River and in the seawater near the estuary compared to concentrations in the coastal water along the study area (Southern part of Northwest Pacific Russia) evidence its high impact as a major land-based source of plastic pollution, raising concern about its local and transboundary effects.



95. Quantifying the Accumulation of Marine Debris near Coral Reefs Using Aerial Imagery and GIS | presenting: Miguel Castrence (Resource Mapping Hawaii); authors: Kirsten Moy (University of Hawaii), Miguel Castrence (Resource Mapping Hawaii), Brian Neilson (Division of Aquatic Resources, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources), Amber Meadows (Social Science Research Institute of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa), Anne Chung (Social Science Research Institute of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa), Stephanie Kung (Social Science Research Institute of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa), Alexi Meltel (Social Science Research Institute of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa), Andy Omori (Social Science Research Institute of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa), Stephen Ambagis (Resource Mapping Hawaii), Kristine Davidson (Social Science Research Institute of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa)

Hawaii’s coral reef ecosystem is a valuable natural resource that supports a unique and diverse host of marine life, providing sustenance to Hawaii and its inhabitants. The Great Tsunami of 2011 had devastating effects on Japan, dispersing millions of tons of debris, some of which drifted great distances across the Pacific Ocean via wind and current. This Japanese tsunami marine debris (JTMD), which includes an assortment of plastics, buoys, vessels and large docks, continues to make its way into Hawaiian waters. Debris poses serious risk to Hawaii’s fragile reefs, including entanglement of reef dwelling organisms, introduction of aquatic invasive species, and physical breakage, particularly from large debris like vessels. In order to characterize the ecological consequences of JTMD, it is important to understand and quantify where and what debris is accumulating. Given the remoteness of coastlines in the Hawaiian Islands, large scale surveillance efforts are needed to identify these “hotspots” of marine debris. This project collected high-resolution aerial imagery and then, using ArcGIS software, identified and characterized marine debris densities along Hawaiian shores. This innovative technique allows analysts to identify hotspots across the state and their association with coral reefs. The project method could also prove useful in other sites or to quantify different targets, such as sedimentation or coastal wildlife. The study’s findings will inform resource management on the part of federal and state government and local nonprofit and community groups.



96. Modelling of plastic nanoparticles redistribution in the ocean. | presenting: Maxime Mouyen (Geosciences Rennes); authors: Maxime Mouyen (Geosciences Rennes), Philippe Steer (Geosciences Rennes), Julien Gigault (Geosciences Rennes), Laurent Jeanneau (Geosciences Rennes)

The fate of plastic debris entering the ocean is primarily controlled by their origin and the oceanic currents, which drive them either toward one of the main five oceanic gyres or back on coastal areas. Despite a reasonably good prediction of their accumulation zones, in situ global quantifications largely underestimate the actual mass of plastic debris that must have entered the ocean since its earliest production. A significant assumption behind global plastic transport simulations is that plastic debris are considered as buoyant particles mostly released from coastal and estuarine areas. Although valid for a broad range of particle sizes, this assumption does not hold for nanoparticles, which may rather follow the water stream without buoyancy force. Besides, these nanoparticles technically remain challenging to observe and quantify in situ. Here we use time-variable sea velocity fields in 3D (zonal, meridional and vertical) to simulate their path across the seawater column, for various input depths. Since these nanoparticles can also be created from the decomposition of pre-existing plastic debris, we test sources located across the main oceanic gyres, in addition to usual coastal sources. First results show that their redistribution patterns are not spatially confined to gyres as for buoyant particles and that they can spread over large oceanic areas, back to the coasts. To validate these simulations, we shall use the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data to identify oceanic reflectance patterns that are spatially consistent with the simulated ones. Our main hypothesis being that the lacking mass of marine plastic debris consists in nanoparticles, which are neither easily observable with present surveying methods nor properly localized by simulating the transport of buoyant particles.



97. Transport of marine debris in North Pacific: the case of Hawaii. | presenting: Jan Hafner (IPRC/SOEST U. of Hawaii); authors: Jan Hafner (IPRC/SOEST U. of Hawaii), Nikolai Maximenko (IPRC/SOEST U. of Hawaii), Gisela Speidel (IPRC/SOEST U. of Hawaii), Kin Lik Wang (IPRC/SOEST U. of Hawaii), Chris Woolaway (Hawaii’s International Coastal Cleanup), Carl J. Berg (The Kauai Chapter of Surfrider), Barbara Wiedner (The Kauai Chapter of Surfrider), Scott McCubbins (The Kauai Chapter of Surfrider), Cynthia Welti (The Kauai Chapter of Surfrider), Megan Lamson (Hawaii Wildlife Fund)

Studies of marine debris transport over large distances are very limited. Long term position tracking is required to collect the necessary data. In general the transport of marine debris is determined by the surface ocean currents and winds. The effect of wind on marine debris motion is called windage; high windage debris is affected by the wind more than low windage type.

The 2011 tsunami in Japan was a very tragic event that generated a large amount of unusual debris. Data of tsunami debris were used as an experiment of the nature and many pieces could be directly traced back to origin (e.g. registration numbers on boats). SCUD (Surface CUrrents from Diagnostic model) model was employed to simulate the drift of tsunami debris from the coast of Japan across the N. Pacific to Hawaii. The modeling results were compared to actual observed tsunami debris in Hawaii. The observational data show the effect of wind (windage) on the transport of debris across N. Pacific to Hawaii. The effect of wind is seen in the timing of tsunami debris arrival. High windage type of debris arrived first, followed by medium and low windage types. Similarly this is reflected in modeling results as well. Both observational and modeling results will be compared and presented.



98. Anthropogenic microlitter in the Baltic Sea with the emphasis on microfibers | presenting: Liliya Khatmullina (Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences); authors: Andrei Bagaev (Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences), Liliya Khatmullina (Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences; Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University), Irina Chubarenko (Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences)

Amounts of anthropogenic microlitter (0.5-5 mm) in the water column (depth range from 0 to 217.5 m) of the main Baltic Proper basins were analyzed. Water samples were acquired during 6 cruises in the Bornholm, Gdansk, and Gotland basins in 2015-2016, filtered using 174 mkm filters, and subsequently analyzed by microscope. The bulk mean concentration of microlitter particles in the analysed 95 water samples was 0.40±0.58 items per litre, with fibers being the most abundant type of particles (77%), compared to 19 % of paint flakes and 4 % of fragments. No microbeads or pellets were recognized. The highest concentration of microliter was found in the near-bottom samples from the coastal zone (2.2. – 2.7 items per litre max) and in the near-surface waters (0.5 m) of the Bornholm basin (1.6 – 2.5 items per litre). Preliminary results indicate ubiquitous distribution of the microfibres in the water column of the Baltic Sea with surface and bottom layers revealing higher abundances of microfibres in comparison with intermediate layers, and open-sea waters being less contaminated than the coastal ones. The enhancement of sampling and processing technics is suggested, especially for microfibers analysis. Apart from that, we consider that it is crucial to understand the dynamics of different types of microlitter in the marine environment (e.g., settling, entrainment by currents, resuspension) to explain obtained distribution of particles. It is hypothesized that in the presence of convective mixing, turbulence and various currents, some particles like thin films and fibers would not practically rise of settle but would follow the water movement, which can serve as an explanation for their prevalence in the samples. The research is supported by the Russian Science Foundation grant number 15-17-10020.



99. Seafloors as microplastic sinks – negligible upward transport of sedimented microplastics by bioturbation | presenting: Pinja Näkki (Marine Research Centre, Finnish Environment Institute); authors: Pinja Näkki (Marine Research Centre, Finnish Environment Institute), Outi Setälä (Marine Research Centre, Finnish Environment Institute), Maiju Lehtiniemi (Marine Research Centre, Finnish Environment Institute)

Microplastics (MPs) are distributed widely across different habitats in the marine environment. Considerable amounts of MPs are found from seafloor sediments, which have been proposed to act as sinks for microplastic debris. MPs on the sediment surface can be buried under the constantly settling new material or transported deeper into the sediment with and without animal activities. While bioturbation is an important process in the downward transportation of MPs, it is still unknown whether burrowing animals may also transport MPs upwards, and thus increase their availability to benthic fauna feeding on the sediment surface. To study this, thin layers of frozen sediment containing a realistic concentration of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) fragments in two size classes (>500 µm and 100–300 µm) were added to depths of 2 cm and 5 cm in the experimental aquaria filled with sediment. The re-localization of MPs by a community of common benthic invertebrates in the northern Baltic Sea (clam Limecola balthica, polychaetes Marenzelleria spp., gammarid monoporeia affinis) was studied in a 10 week experiment, after which the MPs were extracted from each sediment layer and the animals were examined to study MP ingestion. The results indicate that the transportation of MPs to the sediment surface by bioturbation is negligible; thus, the seafloor may form a permanent sink to once sedimented MPs.



100. Gulf of Microplastics- microplastic abundance and transport along the continental shelf in the northern Gulf of Mexico | presenting: Caitlin Wessel (Dauphin Island Sea Lab); authors: Caitlin Wessel (Dauphin Island Sea Lab), Just Cebrian (Dauphin Island Sea Lab)

Recent calculations have shown that 10% of all plastic produced around the world ultimately ends up in the ocean. Eventually that plastic will break down into smaller and smaller pieces, smaller than 5 mm, called microplastics that can harm sea life and end up in our food. Studies and research cruises have sampled microplastic concentrations across the Pacific, Atlantic, Southern, and Indian Oceans, in the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Black Seas, and in the Persian Gulf and many of these numbers have been used to estimate microplastic concentrations world-wide using modeling. In collaboration with NOAA Fisheries SEAMAP sampling in the Gulf of Mexico during September of 2016 and 2017 we collected the first Gulf-wide estimates of sea surface and water column abundances of microplastics ranging from offshore of Brownsville, TX in the west to the Florida Keys in the east. Using a combination of whole water sampling, and neuston and bongo tows we were able to capture microplastics ranging in size from 1 µm to 5mm and document various types of plankton that had consumed microplastics. So far 36 separate stations have been sampled across the continental shelf of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Microplastics were found in every tow and out of 244 whole water samples collected 99% contained microplastics with an average of 7 microplastics per liter. This is much higher than estimates of less than 1 microplastic per meter squared that models produced in 2015 using data from the Atlantic Ocean predicted for the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, we also found an opposing trend when there were high concentrations of microplastics at the surface there were lower concentrations in the water column and vice versa.



101. Microplastics in Arctic surface water and sea ice: Korean Ice Breaker ARAON Expedition | presenting: Hee-Jee Lee (Incheon National University); authors: Hee-Jee Lee (Incheon National University), Seung-Kyu Kim (Department of Marine Science, Incheon National University), Sung-Ho Kang (Korea Polar Research Institute)

The Arctic is one of the pristine environments on earth but is already affected by floating microplastics (MPs) according to previous studies (38-234 pieces/m3 in sea ice and 0.34 pieces/m3 in the Atlantic arctic polar water). However, there is still unclear in transport pathway of MPs to arctic environment. We investigated MP in the Pacific ocean-side polar region covering Bering Strait and Chukchi Sea, expedited by Korean research ice breaker R/V ARAON in 2016 (ARA07B; Aug /05-21/2016). The results of this study suggest the contamination level and distribution characteristics of MPs observed in seawater (surface and sub-surface layer) and sea-ice collected in the summer of Arctic 2016. Seawater samples were collected by manta-trawl net (200 mm mesh, n=12), bongo net (330 mm; n=16) and sea ice samples (n=7) were collected using ice-corers. MPs were detected in all samples with average concentrations of 0.41 n/m3, 0.55 n/m3 and 12.90 n/L, respectively. It is generally known that plastics are light and float, therefore they could be enriched on the water surface layer. However, MPs abundance observed in the bongo net (sub-surface) was similar to that of the manta nets (surface), which can be a strong evidence of the possible sinking of MPs into the deep water of the Arctic Ocean. On the other hand, the sea ice’s contamination level was observed to be several tens of thousands higher than seawater. This indicates the necessity of further study on the trapping mechanism in the freezing process and the effect on the environmental change.



102. Plastic on beaches and in seabirds: preliminary results from a comparative study in the Norwegian Arctic and North Sea | presenting: Lene Buhl-Mortensen (Institute of Marine Research); authors: Lene Buhl-Mortensen (Institute of Marine Research), Geir Gabrielsen (Norwegian Polar Institute), Tycho Anker-Nilssen (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research), Erlend Standal (SALT AS)

Each year 5-13 million tonnes of litter enter the oceans and plastics are by far the most abundant material recorded, even in areas with low human settlements.

Litter has been surveyed annually for the Norwegian Environmental Agency since 2011 at seven beaches, two in the northern North Sea and five in the Arctic regions.

Ingestion of marine plastics by northern fulmars have been surveyed twice in Svalbard twice (1987 and 2013) and North Norway (2011-15), and every winter in South Norway since 2002/03. Based on this, we could compare litter composition and density on beaches with stomach contents of seabirds from the same regions to indicate the transfer of litter to marine food webs.

Preliminary results show that 91% of the beached litter was plastic with a mean of 41100 items/km, which is comparable to most European coasts. Litter was three times more plentiful on North Sea than Arctic beaches, but fishing-related litter was relatively more abundant in the Arctic. In both regions, most fulmars had ingested plastics, but the proportion of birds that exceeded the Ecological Quality Objective (EcoQO) of < 0.1 g of stomach plastic decreased from 55% in the North Sea to 35% in North Norway and 24% in Svalbard.



103. Characterizing plastic debris from the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre | presenting: Anna Schwarz (The Ocean Cleanup); authors: Anna Schwarz (The Ocean Cleanup), Aurore Levivier (The Ocean Cleanup), Serena Cunsolo (The Ocean Cleanup), Laurent Lebreton (The Ocean Cleanup), Francesco Ferrari (The Ocean Cleanup), Francesco Ferrari (The Ocean Cleanup)

Any plastic debris afloat at sea has a unique story. This includes the original purpose of the plastic, entry point in the ocean, time spent afloat and fate as oceanic debris. In this study, oceanic plastics are characterized and identified. The plastic was collected in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre during a multi-vessel expedition conducted in 2015. With Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and a variety of visual methods, including language, age and logo identification and debris characterization, a unique insight on the ocean debris was obtained. Most represented polymer types were polyethylene and polypropylene. For hard plastic fragments, many plastics were unidentified fragments. Some identifiable objects included items with a marine purpose, such as ropes, nets, oyster spacers, containers and eel trap cones. More than 50% of the plastic debris mass was likely originating from fishing and aquaculture industries. Other commonly observed items were bottles, lids and melted plastics. Furthermore, 9 languages were identified for 386 objects, in which Japanese, Chinese and Korean were most represented. 12 countries of production were assigned for 41 objects. 50 particles contained evidence of age, ranging from 1977 up to 2010. Thick, hard plastic debris with a low windage were mostly observed in the North Pacific Subtropical gyre. These unique properties showed that only a fraction of plastic debris reach and persist in open oceanic environments. Other plastic debris, such as films and foams, were only observed in small amounts. With this study, knowledge on debris contributions from land and oceanic sources was improved. Also, characteristics of plastics that persist in the ocean were determined and geographic origins identified. Hence, mitigation strategies can be designed more effectively.



104. Revisiting a Long-Term Time Series of Floating Plastics in the Western North Atlantic Ocean | presenting: Kara Lavender Law (Sea Education Association); authors: Chris Wilcox (CSIRO, Oceans and Atmosphere Business Unit), Britta Denise Hardesty (CSIRO, Oceans and Atmosphere Business Unit), Kara Lavender Law (Sea Education Association)

Despite a rapid acceleration in global plastics production since 1950 and reports since the 1970s of plastics in the surface ocean, previous research has not detected a temporal trend in floating plastics concentration, raising questions about the residence time and fate of buoyant microplastics. Using a generalized additive model, we examined the longest time series available on floating plastics, collected in the western North Atlantic Ocean by Sea Education Association (SEA) from 1986 through 2015. A previous analysis of the dataset through 2008 (Law et al., 2010) failed to detect a temporal trend in the concentration of plastic debris collected using surface plankton nets. Here, we present a statistical analysis that removes variability associated with sampling error, and with the large-scale spatial distribution associated with accumulation in the convergent subtropical gyre. This spatial distribution is, itself, variable in time, which was accounted for in the best performing model. The best performing model also included a temporal term that indicates an accelerating relationship with cumulative global plastics production, providing evidence that the amount of floating small plastics in the western North Atlantic has increased over the time period examined. Because production is reported as mass and debris is reported as a numerical concentration, the second-order polynomial relationship with cumulative production might be explained by particle fragmentation. We will discuss how previous results describing strong decreasing trends in identifiable resin pellets in a subset of this data set and in northern fulmar stomachs in the North Sea (van Franeker and Law, 2014) are not contradictory, and the implications of using floating microplastics as an indicator of changes in ocean inputs over time.



105. Optimization of large microplastic (1-5mm) sampling methodologies | presenting: Ico Martínez Sánchez (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria); authors: Ico Martínez Sánchez (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), Alicia Herrera Ulibarri (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), Javier Lorenzo Navarro (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), Modesto Castrillón Santana (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), Theodore T. Packard (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), May Gómez Cabrera (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)

Recently there has been a surge in the interest in microplastic pollution. It has become in a major threat for the environment, affecting kilometers of coast around the world. To investigate this pollution, standardization is being forced on biological, chemical, and physical analytical methods. This is necessary to obtain comparable temporal and regional data sets; otherwise, strong inferences and conclusions cannot be made. In relation to beach sampling, the standardized methodology outlined in the manual, Guidance on monitoring of Marine Litter in European Seas, is currently being used to collect microplastics in the Canary Island Archipelago. From that starting point, we have made modifications and improvements in order to minimize the time spent sampling and the use of human resources, both in field and in the laboratory.

Our new methodology consists of:

Collecting large microplastics (1-5 mm) beach samples at the tide line with a 1mm mesh bag;

Using density separation with ethanol (96%), to separate microplastic from organic matter;

Employing image-analysis software to quantify microplastics after capturing the remaining particles with a commercial scanner. In a first step, the developed software performs a segmentation of the image based on the Otsu’s method. After that, an extraction of shape, color and texture features is done to feed a classifier that assigns a label (fragment, pellets, tar, line, …) to each microplastic particle.

Calculating statistics with the “R program”.

To a first approximation, these changes have resulted a significant reductions in the time spent on sampling in the field and on sample treatment in the laboratory. Furthermore, they greatly improved the separation of microplastics from organic matter. They advance the development of simple and inexpensive methodol



106. Candidate in-situ Sensing Applications for Plastic Particle Pollution in the Water column | presenting: Harry Allen (EPA); authors: Bill Robberson (US EPA), Harry Allen (EPA), Anna-Marie Cook (USEPA)

Microplastic particles (characterized as < 1 mm in size) have been reported in marine ecosystems worldwide and yet, the extent of this pollutant remains poorly characterized. Standardized water column collection, identification and quantification methodologies are urgently needed but also sensing instrumentation must be developed and deployed to guide field studies of this pollutant.


This poster will present groundbreaking research on plastic particle detection in the lab and will evaluate candidate technologies for remote and in-situ plastic particle observation. The session will present the latest in development of deployable sensors and platforms which could be applied to microplastic particle sensing and will include examples of remote sensing and proxy imaging applications for observing and mapping plastic particles. Examples include imaging flow cytometry (Fluid Imaging Technologies, Inc.), fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy and more. Sensing instruments are integral to a systems approach to field study.



107. An integrative approach for assessing the potential risks of microplastics to sea scallop on the Eastern Seaboard | presenting: Tracy Mincer (Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst); authors: Tracy Mincer (Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst), Linda Amaral-Zettler (NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research), Erik Zettler (NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research), Scott Gallager (Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst)

Plastic has become the most common form of marine debris in the last 60 years. It is estimated that an average of 8 million metric tons of plastic products escape the waste stream and enter the world’s oceans each year, posing a significant, yet poorly characterized, risk to many marine organisms. Our ongoing study is undertaking an ecological risk assessment of microplastic ingestion to populations of the sea scallop, Placopecten megellanicus, in the Mid-Atlantic Bight and Georges Bank regions, which represents one of the most highly valued commercial fisheries in the continental United States. Scallop gut contents collected since 2013 as part of the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s annual sea scallop survey have confirmed microplastics, identified using Raman Spectroscopy, implying an impinging threat. Through a combination of fieldwork and laboratory experiments, essential data to calculate the risk to scallop stock populations associated with microplastic ingestion are being gathered and results will be discussed. Additionally, this study is investigating the hypothesized role that intense seasonal diatom blooms play in influencing the downward transport of microplastic (size 5 millimeter to 333 micron) and nanoplastic (size less than 333 micron) particles, making the debris bioavailable to sea scallop. This project will also assess risks associated with sea scallop larvae microplastic ingestion, using lipid content as a metric for health. Through focusing on one specific species in a well-characterized fishery, our integrative study aims to provide prioritized data for resource managers and policy makers to predict risk, preserve resources, and take corrective actions.



108. Analyzing source and quantifying microplastic abundance in near-shore marine environments of Atlantic Canada | presenting: Ariel Smith (Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation); authors: Ariel Smith (Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation), Brooke Nodding (Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation), Shanna Fredericks (Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation)

The Atlantic Canada Microplastic Research Project, led by Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation, is a partnership project aimed at addressing the environmental problem of marine plastic pollution, specifically microplastic (<5 mm in diameter). The project is an ecosystem-based research initiative that will quantify microplastic distribution and concentration across three locations in Atlantic Canada; the Bay of Fundy, the Bay of Islands (i.e., Gulf of St. Lawrence), and the LaHave River Estuary (i.e., Atlantic Coast). As research shows, plastic particles allow chemicals to adhere to their surface as they travel throughout the marine environment, contributing to reduced water quality over time. Although research has been conducted on these impacts, further understanding of water quality impacts from microplastic pollution, and its subsequent impact on habitat and biodiversity, is needed across Atlantic Canada’s ecosystems. The proposed project involves one year (2017-2018) of project development and training and two years (2018-2020) of microplastic sampling and analyses within the three study areas. Sampling methodologies will replicate those used by researchers in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River (Eriksen et al., 2013, Casteñeda et al., 2014, and Corcoran et al., 2015), to compare the results of those studies to data collected in Atlantic Canada. Samples will be collected from surface water trawls and benthic sediment grabs to quantify microplastic particles and determine concentrations. The culmination of the proposed project will be an international workshop event to share and discuss results of microplastic data with researchers, scientists, non-government organizations and students.



109. The Chemical contamination by Plastic Marine Debris | presenting: Koshiro Koizumi (College of Science and Technology, Nihon University); authors: Hideki Kimukai (Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii), Bruce Brezel (Institute of Cannabis Research), Koshiro Koizumi (College of Science and Technology, Nihon University), Keiji Amamiya (College of Industrial Technology, Nihon University), David Karl (Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education, University of Hawaii), Toshihiko Hiaki (College of Industrial Technology, Nihon University), Katsuhiko Saido (College of Industrial Technology, Nihon University)

From 1950 to 2014, the sum total of all types of plastics produced worldwide was calculated in the amount of 5.4 billion tons.Many studies have addressed the physical effects of large-sized plastics on sea bird, turtle and fishes, whereas few have focused on chemicals derived from debris plastic. To clarify the chemicals produced by debris polystyrene (PS) decomposition to give rise to pollution surrounding Japan. From the year 2000 to 2013, 1,500 samples were obtained from all coast lines taken in this study to be comprised of ten isolated islands. All samples were detected styrene oligomer (SO: means theses mixture of styrene monomer, dimer and trimer). Mean SO contamination values surround Japan coastlines were 3.0 µg/L in the water and 500.0 µg/kg in sand. SO contamination in sand was 160 times that in coastal water.

The results clearly indicate that, not only does debris PS form micro-size (micro-plastic) potsherd on beaches but also that PS decomposes into SO which subsequently disseminates throughout the ocean. SO causing worldwide ocean pollution has increased by 30,000 times as much in the past 60 years. The basic structural units of plastic pose significantly high risks to marine organism life, ecosystems and certainly, human health as well.



110. An optimised extraction method of fluoranthene from micro-plastics using accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) | presenting: Jella Kandziora (Indonesian Waste Platform); authors: Jella Kandziora (Indonesian Waste Platform), Thomas Schiedek (Technische Universität Darmstadt), Kaori Sakaguchi-Söder (Technische Universität Darmstadt)

Microplastics (MPs) are a group of anthropogenic contaminants with a high persistence in the environment. In order to determine the ecotoxicological impact of microplastic (MP), it is necessary to understand the nature and extent of chemicals that travel a long distance with MPs in the sea. However, currently no harmonized analytical methods are available to extract MPs from the environmental matrix as well as to extract pollutants from MPs. Therefore, this paper proposes a reliable method to determine the mass of contaminants adsorbed onto MP using an accelerated solvent extractor (ASE). A series of batch experiments were carried out in the laboratory to charge fluoranthene, a 4-ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, onto plastic pellets made of three different polymers: polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS) and polypropylene (PP). Fluoranthene adsorbed on the pellets was extracted using an ASE 300 (Dionex, Idstein). First results showed that best ASE extraction conditions for PE were at 100° C (at 100 bar) for 5 minutes in two static cycles using isopropanol, leading to an extraction efficiency of approx. 70 -80%. A similar extraction efficiency was determined for PS at 70°C at 100 bar for 5 minutes in two static cycles using isopropanol. The highest recovery rate of 110 -115% was obtained for PP under the ASE condition at 100°C at 100 bar in 1 static cycle using isopropanol. Further research is needed to extend the analysed toxic pollutants adsorbed onto MPs and to develop a standardised and globally applied methodological approach.



111. Identifying microplastics in North Sea waters – A matter of extraction and detection | presenting: Claudia Lorenz (Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Biologische Anstalt Helgoland); authors: Claudia Lorenz (Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Biologische Anstalt Helgoland), Lisa Roscher (Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Biologische Anstalt Helgoland), Melanie Meyer, Sebastian Primpke, Gunnar Gerdts (Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Biologische Anstalt Helgoland)

In times of a rising plastic production the occurrence of microplastics (< 5 mm in size) in the marine environment has been identified as an emerging topic of global concern. Microplastics are omnipresent in our environment, hardly degradable and are easily ingested by a wide range of organisms throughout all trophic levels.

However, the extent of this microplastic pollution as well as the resulting impacts on the marine environment remains largely unknown. Therefore, standardized and reliable methods to securely detect microplastics are urgently needed. The conclusive identification requires a successful extraction from different, complex environmental matrices.

Thus we developed a highly promising procedure to successfully analyze also small microplastics (11-500 µm) isolated from surface water samples. This procedure includes the usage of an enzymatic-oxidative purification in newly developed semi-enclosed filtration units (microplastic reactors). This is followed by a state-of-the-art analysis via micro Fourier transform infrared (µFTIR) spectroscopy.

The aim of this work is to contribute to the field of microplastic research by applying innovative analysis techniques as well as generating solid and comparable data. These provide information on quantities, polymer and size composition as well as spatial distribution of microplastics in North Sea surface waters.

First results show that microplastics are present in the North Sea exhibiting a variety of polymer types, dominated by rubbers and polyethylene. Concerning the size, the vast majority of the detected microplastic particles is less than 75 µm in length.



112. Polymer Identification of Plastic Marine Debris on Beaches and the Sea Surface in the Hawaiian Archipelago by FT-IR to Determine Sources | presenting: Kayla Brignac (University of Hawaii at Manoa); authors: Kayla Brignac (University of Hawaii at Manoa), Melissa Jung (Hawaii Pacific University), Cheryl King (Sharkastics), Jens Currie (Pacific Whale Foundation), Megan Lamson (Hawaii Wildlife Fund), Lauren Blickley (Swell Consulting), Kevin O’Brien (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adimistration), Sarah-Jeanne Royer (University of Hawaii at Manoa), James Potemra (University of Hawaii at Manoa), Jennifer Lynch (National Institute of Standards and Technology)

Identifying the polymer type of plastic debris has become a necessity for waste and recycling management and environmental and public health. For the first time, polymers of beach and sea surface plastics throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago were identified using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. Ten beaches from Hawaii Island to Midway Atoll were sampled systematically, along with floating debris at three locations near the Main Hawaiian Islands. Approximately 4,459 pieces of primarily macroplastics (> 1 cm) were collected. Sea surface sample analysis is pending, but on beaches approximately 25% of pieces were high density polyethylene (PE) (resin code #2), 34% low density PE (#4), and 31% polypropylene (PP) (#5). The remaining 10% included PE terephthalate (#1), polyvinyl chloride (#3), polystyrene (#6), other (#7), PE/PP mixture, and unknown. Others (#7) included ethylene vinyl acetate, cellulose acetate (i.e. cigarette butts), nylon (i.e. weed whacker string), phthalates, latex, polycarbonate, and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. Polymer composition, and thus chemical density relative to seawater, significantly varied among beaches, indicating greater proportions of less dense, floating plastics from ocean-based sources on windward beaches vs. denser, sinking items or land-based sources on leeward beaches. Greater debris abundance was found on windward (n=6, 72.7 ± 111.8 g/m2) vs. leeward (n=2, 0.43 ± 0.31 g/m2) beaches with greater abundance correlating to less nearby land development (rs=-0.71, p=0.047). Debris was more weathered (larger carbonyl peaks in spectra) on windward beaches. Polymer identification revealed the predominance of PE and PP from ocean-based sources on Hawaiian beaches, which can aid efforts to mitigate this environmental issue.



113. Influence of Varying Environmental Conditions on the Leaching of Flame Retardant Additives from Polyurethane Foam Microplastics | presenting: Meredith Evans (Virginia Institute for Marine Science); authors: Meredith Evans (Virginia Institute for Marine Science), Drew Luellen (Virginia Institute for Marine), Mark LaGuardia (Virginia Institute for Marine Science), Kelley Uhlig (Virginia Institute for Marine Science), Robert Hale (Virginia Institute for Marine Science)

Polyurethane foam (PUF) is widely used in cushioning and insulation. While PUF is typically a minor constituent of marine debris, it often contains a substantial additive load and fragments into microplastics faster than most polymers. In an aquatic system, additives such as brominated and organophosphate ester flame retardants (BFRs and PFRs) may be released. To investigate this, we exposed PUF microparticles to varying water temperature, salinity, humic acid and proxy digestive fluids. Experiments were conducted by passing 1 L of the desired fluid through a sand column containing ~400 mg of microparticles over 24 hours. BFRs and PFRs were measured in leachate using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Releases of flame retardants varied from ~10 to 10,000 ng/L, as a function of additive type and test condition. Increasing salinity (0-35) generally decreased BFR leaching. Increasing temperature (4-40C) increased BFR and PFR leaching. Increasing humic acid and digestive fluid concentrations increased BFR, but had minimal effect on PFR leaching, likely due to PFRs’ already substantial water solubilities. PUF microparticle surface areas and structure were examined using the Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET) approach and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). FR leaching was modestly affected by surface area, presumably due to the narrow size range tested. This study has implications for water quality and aquatic health, whereby low salinity, high temperature, high dissolved organics concentration or ingestion may increase flame retardant leaching. Leaching is also a concern in natural disaster scenarios (such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria) whereby indoor PUF is inundated by flood waters and removed to the street or landfill, potentially contaminating flood water and runoff.



114. Microplastics identification by Py-GC/MS: method optimization and validation | presenting: Ludovic Hermabessiere (Anses, Laboratoire de sécurité des aliments); authors: Ludovic Hermabessiere (Anses, Laboratoire de sécurité des aliments), Béatrice Boricaud (Anses, Laboratoire de sécurité des aliments), Charlotte Himber (Anses, Laboratoire de sécurité des aliments), Guillaume Duflos (Anses, Laboratoire de sécurité des aliments), Alexandre Dehaut (Anses, Laboratoire de sécurité des aliments)

Recently, the scientific community has been interested in the plastic pollution. Indeed plastic are found to be the major debris found in marine litter. Moreover, ingestion of microplastics particles (<5 mm) by numerous seafood products has been documented, and 80% of particles would have a size comprised between 50 and 100 µm. Therefore, microplastics can represent an emerging problem regarding seafood consumption. Only a few studies performed the identification of plastic polymers with reliable methods using spectroscopy (FTIR or Raman) and chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. For a few years, Pyrolysis-GC/MS (Py-GC/MS) has been used to get more information on the composition of plastic polymers with some applications on microplastics. This technique is also relevant to specifically identify polymers and plastic additives. The purpose of this work was to optimize and validate a Py-GC/MS method to accurately identify MPs as small as possible. Optimization on multiple GC parameters was carried out using polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) particles (size: 100 – 400 µm). Validation was made by calculating LOD for multiple polymers and performing repeatability and reproducibility tests. Finally, the optimized method was applied to different samples, including different plastics from sediments and organisms collected in the marine environment The optimized Py-GC/MS method allows to accurately identify unknown particles down to 50 µm.



115. Levels of Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in expanded polystyrene (EPS) marine debris and microplastics from South Korea and the Asia-Pacific coastal region | presenting: Mi Jang (Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST)); authors: Mi Jang (Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST)), Won Joon Shim (Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST)), Gi Myung Han (Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST)), Rani Manviri (Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST)), Young Kyoung Song (Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST)), Sang Hee Hong (Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST))

The role of marine plastic debris and microplastics as a carrier of hazardous chemicals in the marine environment is an emerging issue. This study investigated expanded polystyrene (EPS, commonly known as styrofoam) debris, which is a common marine debris item worldwide, and its additive chemical, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). To obtain a better understanding of chemical dispersion via EPS pollution in the marine environment, intensive monitoring of HBCD levels in EPS debris and microplastics was conducted in South Korea, where EPS is the predominant marine debris originate mainly from fishing and aquaculture buoys. At the same time, EPS debris were collected from 12 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and HBCD concentrations were measured. HBCD was detected extensively in EPS buoy debris and EPS microplastics stranded along the Korean coasts, which might be related to the detection of a quantity of HBCD in non-flame-retardant EPS bead (raw material). HBCD was also abundantly detected in EPS debris collected from the Asia-Pacific coastal region, indicating that HBCD contamination via EPS debris is a common environmental issue worldwide. Suspected tsunami debris from Alaskan beaches indicated that EPS debris has the potential for long-range transport in the ocean, accompanying the movement of hazardous chemicals. The results of this study indicate that EPS debris can be a source of HBCD in marine environments and marine food web.



116. Polymer Identification of Plastic Debris Ingested by Pelagic-phase Sea Turtles in the Central Pacific | presenting: Melissa Jung (Hawai’i Pacific University); authors: Melissa Jung (Hawai’i Pacific University), George Balazs (Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service), Thierry Work (U.S. Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center), Sara Orski (Material Science and Engineering Division, National Institute of Science and Technology), Viviana Rodriguez C (Material Science and Engineering Division, National Institute of Science and Technology), Kathryn Beers (Material Science and Engineering Division, National Institute of Science and Technology), Kayla Brignac (School of Ocean, Earth Science, and Technology, University of Hawai’i at Manoa), David Hyrenbach (College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Hawaii Pacific University), Brenda Jensen (College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Hawaii Pacific University), Jennifer Lynch (Chemical Sciences Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology)

Sea turtles have been known to eat plastic since 1968. We identified the polymer structure of 828 representative pieces of ingested plastics from 37 olive ridley, 9 green and 4 loggerhead sea turtles caught as bycatch in the Hawaiian and American Samoan longline fisheries using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Unidentified samples (n = 27) were analyzed using high temperature size exclusion chromatography with multiple detectors and/or x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. We examined species differences in ingested polymer composition expecting deeper diving species to ingest more high-density, sinking polymers. Ingested plastics were comprised of 51% low-density polyethylene (LDPE), 26% polypropylene (PP), 10% unknown PE, and 5% high-density PE, all of which float in seawater. Green turtles ate proportionally more unknown PE and PE/PP mixtures than olive ridleys. Of plastics expected to sink, 14 pieces (polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene (PS), polyurethane (PU), nylon) were found in deeper diving olive ridleys, five (PS & PU) in intermediate diving greens and only four (PU) in surface foraging loggerheads. Olive ridleys captured farther south and west ate proportionally more PP than those captured further north and east nearest to the North Pacific Garbage Patch. Green turtles south of the equator ate proportionally more LDPE; those in the north and east ate more PE/PP mixtures. No differences were observed in regards to sex, turtle length, size class, year, or hook depth. Products made from LDPE and PP, the most produced and rarely recycled polymers, are driving the problem of sea turtle marine debris ingestion. These novel data are important details to describe the threat of plastic ingestion in sea turtles and can help inform environmentally-friendly practices for plastic production, use and waste management.



117. Impacts of Temperature and Selected Chemical Digestion Methods on Microplastic Particles | presenting: Keenan Munno (University of Toronto); authors: Keenan Munno (University of Toronto), Paul Helm (Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change), Donald Jackson (University of Toronto), Chelsea Rochman (University of Toronto), Alina Sims (Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change)

Microplastics, particles of plastic less than five millimetres in size, come from several sources including industry, consumer products and the breakdown of larger plastics. Chemical digestion methods are often used to isolate microplastics from organic matrices for the purpose of quantification and identification of polymer types. We used several types of microplastic particles to assess alkaline and wet peroxide oxidation (WPO) chemical digestion techniques for recoveries of a known quantity of the microplastics and for possible impacts on the ability to identify polymer types. The tested microplastics were representative of those often found in environmental samples, including microbeads isolated from personal care products, polystyrene foam, polyethylene shavings, and nylon carpet fibers. We found that methods using WPO generated enough heat to result in the complete loss of some types microbeads from personal care products, and boiling tests confirmed that temperatures >70 °C were responsible for the losses. Analysis of recovered particles by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy confirmed minimal alteration of the recovered polymers by the applied methods. Our results suggest that temperatures of less than 60 °C need to be maintained during chemical digestions to ensure that microplastics, particularly microbeads from personal care products, are not lost from the process.



118. Applicability of chemical index in age determination of weathered plastics | presenting: Young Kyoung Song (Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology); authors: Young Kyoung Song (Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology), Soeun Eo (Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology), Sang Hee Hong (Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology), Won Joon Shim (Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology)

Three synthetic polymers [low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP) and expanded polystyrene (EPS)] were exposed to outdoor sun light and UV in a laboratory chamber for 12 months. The exposed polymers were sub sampled in every month, and their carbonyl index (CI) and vinyl index (VI) were measured by FTIR-ATR to characterize the degree of photo-oxidation of polymer. When CI and VI were compared between outdoor and laboratory exposure, amount of outdoor sunshine is approximately 24% of UV chamber. CI of PE (2.79), PP (2.66) and EPS (20.0) and VI of PP (0.16) and EPS (2.67) expose to UV in chamber for 4 month was similar to those (3.43, 2.34 and 12.7 for CI, and 0.13 and 2.33 for VI, respectively) in outdoor for 12 months. The CI and VI of PE and PP showed a linear increase with UV exposure duration for 1 year in laboratory exposure (corresponding to 4 years in outdoor), but nonlinear increase for EPS. The CI and VI showed a good correlation by UV exposure time in outdoor exposure. When comparing the VI between outdoor and the field collected samples, the VI of 14 out of 32 PE and 12 out of 16 PP pellets were higher than in those of outdoor samples exposed for 1 year. On the other hand, the CI showed no variation among the field samples, and CI of all the PE and PP pellets were lower than the outdoor exposure samples.



119. Effects of Nanoplastics on the Marine Plankton Communities | presenting: Christina Ripken (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology); authors: Christina Ripken (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology)

Over the last century the anthropogenic effects on the marine ecosystem from ocean acidification and temperature rise to increased organic and inorganic pollution have increased and diversified.

Marine nanoplastic litter is one of the emerging pollutants from synthetic litter, and the impacts of its presence on plankton communities have not been fully understood. As there is no way to return to an ocean without micro- and nanoplastics in it, it is crucial to investigate and understand how their presence changes the chemical and physical interactions in the ocean. Recent studies on algae have highlighted that nanoplastics cause reduction of CO2 uptake, enhanced production of reactive oxygen species, and a reduction of the chlorophyll a pigment levels as well as the overall growth rate.

Creating a complete picture of chemical and physical effects for planktonic species will require growth inhibition tests (checking chlorophyll a, cell viability, growth rates) and single-cell PCR to establish which genes are responsible for the reported reduction in chlorophyll a content and reduced growth rates.

While it is known that nanoplastic particles are transferred in the planktonic food web, it has not been investigated whether the process starts with planktonic primary producers (autotrophic) or only in the higher trophic levels (mixo- and heterotrophic). We complete the picture by examining the effects of nanoplastics on phytoplankton and by continuing with higher trophic levels including mixotrophic and heterotrophic organisms. We will compare the effects of direct ingestion of nanoplastics by heterotrophic dinoflagellates and large ciliates with indirect ingestion via prey. Answers to these questions will elucidate the overall effects nanoplastics have in the marine environment.



120. The Risk of Eating Plastic: Laysan Albatross Population Impacts | presenting: Wayne Sentman (Oceanic Society); authors: Wayne Sentman (Oceanic Society), Myra Finkelstein (University of California Santa Cruz), Heidi Auman (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania), Scott Edwards (Dept. of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University)

Plastic pollution may diminish marine species adaptive capacity and resilience in an era of global climate change. North Pacific seabirds, specifically albatross, as long-lived, top marine predators, may be ideal contaminant “sentinels“ being both spatially and temporally associated with many anthropogenic contaminants, including increasing amounts of plastic pollution. Plastic ingestion in Laysan albatross (LAAL) and other seabirds have paralleled that increase. For over 40-yrs, LAAL chick mortality has been indirectly and directly linked to plastic. No studies, however, have quantified impacts from plastic ingestion on the population growth rate of any seabird. We show plastic ingestion as a source of mortality for chicks (and adults), with metals (Zn, Pb) bioavailable at toxicologically relevant levels. As well, LAAL chicks in the NW part of their breeding range (60% pop.) have the highest mass of plastic and thus are the most likely affected by any causal additions to chick mortality. Demographic modeling (DM) is used, to determine how age-specific mortality from plastic may impact the future population of LAAL. Field data (previous studies) identified credible chick mortality rates linked to plastic. DM projects 80,000 fewer individuals in 50-yrs with a 1% increase to annual chick mortality rates (or in 10-yrs at %5). To date no comprehensive risk assessments or robust contaminant models exist that evaluate the risk of lifetime plastic exposure to a marine species. The LAAL could fill that void. Information gleaned could extend to other marine apex predators and species of conservation concern enhancing this value. Transboundary movements of albatross create situations ideal for the design of international instruments aimed at biodiversity conservation and contaminant regulation in marine ecosystems.



121. Microplastic Pollution below 500µm in the Highly Urbanized Waterways Surrounding Long Beach, CA | presenting: Kara Wiggin (California State University Long Beach); authors: Kara Wiggin (California State University Long Beach), Erika Holland (California State University Long Beach)

Plastic production has drastically increased over the last 60 years, and consequently so has marine plastic pollution. New research demonstrates a vast prevalence of smaller plastic particles in the marine environment, known as microplastics (MP;<5mm). MP pollution presents an increasing concern as smaller sizes can be consumed by lower trophic species vital to the bottom of the food chain. Even though recent studies have shown that invertebrate zooplankton can eat plastic particles from 1µm to 30µm, common sampling protocols only samples plastic greater than 333µm, a common plankton net mesh size. To address this data gap, the presence of MP sized 3-500µm was assessed in Long Beach Harbor, the San Gabriel River (SGR), and the Los Angeles River (LAR) (CA;USA), three areas with highly urbanized surroundings. The efficacy of different digestion protocols to breakdown organic material such as algae and organic fibers was evaluated comparing Wet Peroxide Oxidation (WPO), enzymatic digestion (Cellulase), and hydrogen peroxide. Digestion trials demonstrated that 15% hydrogen peroxide was highly efficient at digesting organic material, and the simple protocol minimized contamination and loss of virgin plastic particles compared to other methods. Field samples collected were quantified in 20L surface water grab samples and particles size fractionated through sieves of various pore sizes. Particles present on each sieve were subject to the hydrogen peroxide digestion protocol and quantified and categorized under 40x-200x magnification. Preliminary assessments utilizing digestion revealed 1,650 MP/m3 in SGR and 9,593 MP/m3 in LAR. This project will help establish a standard processing protocol for MP quantification to include sizes below 500µm to help understand the risk that small MP pose to invertebrate zooplankton.



122. Microplastics in Sandy Environments Along the Florida Panhandle and Ingestion by the Sand Dollar, Mellita tenuis | presenting: Tara Plee (University of West Florida); authors: Tara Plee (University of West Florida), Christopher Pomory (University of West Florida)

Plastic production has been continually growing worldwide due to its high durability, low cost, and light weight. Microplastics are either intentionally created or derived from larger plastic sources via mechanical, photolytic, or chemical degradation. Microplastics can adsorb contaminants and persist in the ocean, often settling in the sediment. This may pose problems for benthic marine organisms that ingest small particles. Microplastics have been found in some nearshore sandy areas along the Florida panhandle (northwest Florida, USA, Gulf of Mexico). Sand dollars are microphagous feeders ingesting particles, and occur in high densities in nearshore environments altering the sediment through bioturbation. It is unknown if Mellita tenuis, a common sand dollar in the northern Gulf of Mexico, ingests microplastics. In this study, we examine if Mellita tenuis is ingesting microplastics in the field, and if sediments at the collection sites contain microplastics. Laboratory experiments in progress are examining if Mellita tenuis will ingest microbeads (600 µm), microfragments (355-500 µm), and if they are selecting microplastics over the sediment.



123. Leachate toxicity of microplastics from artificial sports pitches | presenting: Dorte Herzke (Norwegian Institute for Air Research); authors: Claudia Halsband (Akvaplan-niva), Dorte Herzke (Norwegian Institute for Air Research), Andy Booth (SINTEF Ocean)

Rubber particles from car tires have been identified as a major source of microplastics in the coastal waters of Norway. Crumb rubber samples collected from a sports field in northern Norway (Tromsø) have been incubated in filtered seawater for two weeks to produce a leachate solution. The major contaminants recorded in the leachate were heavy metals and PAHs. The supernatant of this mixture was added to culture media for marine planktonic copepods in concentrations varying from 5 to 100%. Two species of copepods were exposed to these media and mortality rates were recorded. The results show significantly higher mortalities in exposures than in controls at all concentrations. The dose-responses of the two copepods were, however, different, where the smaller species (Acartia longiremis) was more sensitive than the larger one (Calanus finmarchicus). The ecological consequences for individual marine species as well as ecosystems are discussed.



124. Assessment of the risks associated with microplastic marine pollution in the food chain | presenting: May Gómez (Marine Ecophysiology Group (EOMAR)); authors: May Gómez (Marine Ecophysiology Group (EOMAR)), Alicia Herrera (Marine Ecophysiology Group (EOMAR)), Ico Martínez (Marine Ecophysiology Group (EOMAR)), María Ascención Viera-Rodríguez (Marine Ecophysiology Group (EOMAR)), Theodore T. Pacikard (Marine Ecophysiology Group (EOMAR))

Marine ecosystems are being invaded by wastes of anthropogenic origin, mostly plastics. In the recent decades a new threat from plastic, microplastics, has been detected. These microplastics, can be ingested by fish, zooplankton, and other organisms and transferred through the food chain. In addition to the physical hazards associated with ingestion, there are also biochemical hazards because microplastics adsorb persistent chemical contaminants (POPs) that bioaccumulate and biomagnify in the food chain. Our studies have revealed that a large amount of microplastics from the ocean accumulate on the Canary Island coast. The Canary Current flows through the Canary Islands in a south-southwest direction, transporting surface wastes that are deposited mainly on the beaches most exposed to the prevailing winds and surface currents. In the areas of maximum concentration, more than 300 grams/m2 of microplastics have been detected from the tide line. In addition, these samples were contaminated by organic chemicals, among them polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine pesticides and derivatives of UV filters. Many of these compounds have carcinogenic effects and act as endocrine disruptors (compounds that alter the normal biological function by substituting for hormones). These effects have been scientifically documented.

These organic compounds have already been detected associated with microplastics in waters of the Canary Islands, but it is still unknown how they impact marine organisms and the food chain. Particularly, their impact on the local fishery and human consumption and health is not known, but potentially important. Therefore, we consider it a priority to study the effect that the ingestion of microplastics and their associated contaminants, has on marine life.



125. Distribution and biological implications of plastic pollution on the fringing reef of Mo’orea, French Polynesia | presenting: Elizabeth Connors (University of California, Berkeley); authors: Elizabeth Connors (University of California, Berkeley)

Coral reef ecosystems of the South Pacific are extremely vulnerable to plastic pollution from oceanic gyres and land-based sources. To describe the extent and impact of plastic pollution, the distribution of both macro- (>5mm) and microplastic (plastic <5mm) of the fringing reef of an isolated South Pacific island, Mo’orea, French Polynesia was quantified. Macroplastic was found on every beach on the island that was surveyed. The distribution of this plastic was categorized by site type and by the presence of Turbinaria ornata, a common macroalgae on Mo’orea. Microplastics were discovered in the water column of the fringing reef of the island, at a concentration of 0.74 pieces m-2. Additionally, this study reports for the first time the ingestion of microplastic by the corallimorpha Discosoma nummiforme. Microplastics were made available to corallimorph polyps in a laboratory setting over the course of 108 hours. Positively and negatively buoyant microplastics were ingested, and a microplastic particle that was not experimentally introduced was also discovered in the stomach cavity of one organism. This study indicates that plastic pollution has the potential to negatively impact coral reef ecosystems of the South Pacific, and warrants further study to explore the broader potential impacts of plastic pollution on coral reef ecosystems.



126. The effect of a microplastic-associated legacy pollutant on the feeding preferences of microzooplankton and their predators. | presenting: Samantha Athey (University of North Carolina Wilmington); authors: Samantha Athey (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Echevarria Michael, Anthony Andrady, Alison Taylor, Susanne Brander

Microplastics are becoming more abundant in estuarine systems. The surface of plastic attracts lipophillic compounds, such as the pollutant DDT, that can leach into the tissues of marine organisms upon plastic ingestion. This study used larval inland silversides, Menidia beryllina, as predators, and tintinnid ciliates, Favella spp., as prey. LDPE microspheres (10-20µm) treated with DDT and virgin microspheres were used to determine whether the presence of plastic-associated pollutants affects the feeding preference of larval fish and their prey. We hypothesized that larval silversides feed differentially on prey exposed to DDT-laden microplastics due to the potential effects of DDT on prey predator-avoidance behavior and that trophic transfer is a more important route for microplastic ingestion. After one two-hour feeding period, trophic transfer treatment groups ingested a significantly higher number of microplastics than direct ingestion treatment groups, suggesting ingestion of contaminated prey could be an important route for microplastic exposure. Larvae also ingested significantly more prey exposed to DDT-laden plastics than prey exposed to virgin plastics. DDT seems to play a role in the prey preference of larval fish, and potentially affects the predator avoidance behavior of Favella. Growth parameters were measured after a 30-day period following a 2-hour microsphere feeding session to determine the effects of microplastic ingestion on larval growth. Microplastic gut retention time of larvae was not significantly different between DDT-laden and untreated treatments. The rate of excretion of microplastics was 0.15 particles hour-1. This was the first study to investigate gut retention time in larval fish. The silversides and Favella are common prey items for estuarine species.



127. Microplastic ingested by fish could be a new indicator of debris impact? | presenting: Cecilia Silvestri (ISPRA-Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research); authors: Cecilia Silvestri (ISPRA-Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), Massimo Dalu (ISPRA-Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), Raffaella Piermarini (ISPRA-Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), Marco Matiddi (ISPRA-Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research)

monitoring the ingestion of litter is a complex task, indentifying interactions between marine litter and marine organism depends on the quantity and quality of data collection. Guidance developed according to Marine Strategy Directive, OSPAR, HELCOM and Barcelona Convention, furnish general approaches and strategies for marine litter monitoring giving emphasis to develop indicators to determine impacts of litter on marine life (biota). Given their propensity to ingest debris, their wide distribution and the large range of habitats used during their life, sea turtles, in particular the species Caretta caretta, were proposed as possible indicator for the Mediterranean basin and the sea birds Fulmarus glacialis for the Northern European waters. Fish are considered another target for developing monitoring purposes on ingestion of litter by marine organism. This work analyses the feasibility of “microplastic ingested by fish” as an indicator of debris impact. The choice of a good indicator species depends on the wide distribution, the sensitivities of species, the ingestion rate and impact mechanisms. A search of the available original peer-reviewed literature was performed. Information on sampling procedure, geographical location, species examined, laboratory analyses, plastic frequency of occurrence, size of plastics and type, was extracted from each article. Each paper was critically examined and data collated to allow for a comparative analysis and general overview. Possible source of bias have been analyzed for field sampling, isolation procedure and identification, in addiction procedure to minimize contamination have been considered. New data, have also been used to evaluate the potentiality of this indicator, trough experimental catches and analysis.



128. Studying availability of plastic ingestion of demersal fish and elasmobranch species in seafloor habitats | presenting: Carme Alomar (Instituto Español de Oceanografía); authors: Carme Alomar (Instituto Español de Oceanografía), Beatriz Guijarro (Instituto Español de Oceanografía), Aida Frank (Instituto Español de Oceanografía), Salud Deudero (Instituto Español de Oceanografía)

There is scientific evidence of the ingestion of microplastics, mainly filaments and blue coloured in stomach contents of fish species in the Western Mediterranean Sea. Microplastic and plastics have been quantified in the marine environment of the Balearic Islands. Ingestion of microplastics and bioaccumulation in species is expected. The aim of this research is to study a possible correlation between plastic abundance in seafloor habitats and microplastic ingestion of species captured in the same area. For this study, during a scientific survey, the stomach contents of 8 species of commercial and ecological interest were studied: Chelidonichthys cuculus, Galeus melastomus, Merluccius merluccius, Nephrops norvegicus, Nezumia aequalis, Serranus cabrilla, Spicara smaris and Spondyliosoma cantharus. In addition to the species, plastic collected during and in the same sampling bottom trawl hauls was weighted and standardized to surveyed area (km2). A total of 189 individuals from 50 scientific bottom trawl hauls were analyzed for microplastic ingestion. A sum of 122 microplastics were identified in 59 individuals, 31 % of the samples. Highest ingestion values were given in Spondyliosoma cantharus with mean values of 3.43 ± 1.09 microplastic/individual. According to plastics in the seafloor, these were found in 66 % of the hauls and with a mean weight of 1.34 ± 0.41 kg/km2. Preliminary results suggest that there is not necessarily a direct link between the presence of plastic in a certain location with the presence of microplastics in the stomach of fish caught in the same location.



129. Investigating the population-level impacts of a range of microplastics to Fathead Minnows | presenting: Kennedy Bucci (University of Toronto); authors: Kennedy Bucci (University of Toronto), Dave Poirier (Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change), Paul Helm (Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change), Chelsea Rochman (University of Toronto)

Plastic pollution is accumulating in aquatic ecosystems at an unprecedented rate. In marine environments around the world, the presence of microplastic pollution (plastic debris <5mm) has been well-documented. In freshwater environments, however, observations of microplastics have been much more rare. In fact, relatively little is known about the biological or ecological impacts of microplastics in freshwater communities. Furthermore, there is a significant lack of ecologically relevant studies, employing relevant microplastic shapes, sizes, and concentrations, and studying relevant life-stages. The objective of my project is to understand the potential population-level impacts of microplastics in fish using the Fathead Minnow, a representative Great Lakes fish species. By exposing Fathead Minnow eggs to environmentally-relevant microplastics and their leachates, I will test egg hatchability and survival in fish embryos. I plan to test a range of microplastics, which may include polyethylene and polypropylene fragments, polyurethane foam, polystyrene, tire dust, and bioplastics. I will use standard measures to observe the hatchability of eggs, and survival and growth in larvae to determine whether there are significant differences among treatments and compared to the control. Results to date will be presented at this conference.



130. Microplastic contamination in wild and commercial bivalves from South Korea | presenting: You Na Cho (Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology); authors: You Na Cho (Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology), Sang Hee Hong (Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology), Mi Jang (Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology), Gi Myung Han (Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology), Won Joon Shim (Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology)

As plastic debris breaks down to small plastic particles in the environment, it becomes available for ingestion by a wide range of small marine organisms. Among them, bivalves are important monitoring species because they are filter feeders that that filter large amounts of seawater and therefore likely to expose to microplastics present in the water column. Additionally, bivalves are one of the popular seafood for human consumption. This study investigated microplastic contamination in wild and commercial bivalves (oysters and mussels) from the Korean coats and fishery markets, respectively. Wild bivalves were collected from ten locations along the Korean coasts and commercial bivalves are bought from fishery markets in three major cities. Microplastic pollution was widespread in both wild and commercial bivalves from Korea with detection frequency of 95%. The mean concentration of microplastics was 0.67 ± 0.6 particles / g (3.45 ± 4.49 particles / individual) in wild bivalves and 0.10±.0.09 particles / g (0.73 ± 0.70 particles / individual) in commercial bivalves. The relatively low levels of microplastics in commercial bivalves might be due to the depuration of ingested particles during transportation and storage. In both samples, fragment (> 80%) was the dominant type of microplastic, and the most common size class is 100 – 200 μm (> 40%). The dominant polymer type was polyethylene (PE), followed by polypropylene (PP) > polyester > polystyrene (PS) in wild bivalves, while in commercial bivalves PS was the dominant type followed by PP > PE > polyester. The relative abundance of PS in commercial bivalves might be related to their culturing method using expanded polystyrene buoys.



131. Are British Columbia Blue Mussels Accumulating Microplastics? | presenting: Julie Dimitrijevic (Simon Fraser University); authors: Julie Dimitrijevic (Simon Fraser University), Marie Nöel (Ocean Wise Conservation Association), Leah Bendell (Simon Fraser University), Peter Ross (Ocean Wise Conservation Association)

Microplastics (plastic polymers <5mm) are an ever-growing international concern for marine biota. Studies have shown microplastic consumption in taxa ranging from marine mammals, turtles and sea birds to zooplankton, echinoderms and bivalves. Reporting for the first time in British Columbia, microplastic abundances will be described for blue mussels (M. edulis). Between January and March 2017, mussels of the same genetic stock were deployed in cages at 11 locations of varying anthropogenic disturbance within the Strait of Georgia. Mussels and water quality data were sampled at each site on day 0, 30 and 60. Using Corolase 7090 enzyme, individual mussels were digested over a period of 18 hours at 60°C. Digests were then filtered through a 20µm polycarbonate filter and microplastics were quantified and characterized using light microscopy. Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy is being used to determine polymer type. Microplastic abundances and polymer composition are being compared temporally and spatially to determine if and what kind of microplastics accumulate in these filter feeding invertebrates. Preliminary results suggest low microplastic contamination in mussels over the 60 day study period. These findings may result from the combination of low microplastic environmental contamination at the 11 study sites, selection against microplastics during filter feeding and/or the ability of blue mussels to eliminate microplastics once ingested. Further results will help shed light on the initial notion that blue mussels may have the capacity to reject or eliminate microplastics and are not as vulnerable to contamination as other shellfish such as clams and oysters.



132. A simplified method for extracting microplastics in laboratory-cultured coral and water samples | presenting: Allyn Duffy (Student Services Contractor, US EPA); authors: Allyn Duffy (Student Services Contractor, US EPA), Cheryl Hankins (US EPA), Kate Drisco ()

The deleterious effects of microplastic ingestion by marine organisms and the impacts across trophic levels are widely unknown. Due to the extensive ecological and socioeconomic benefits provided by coral reefs, investigating the impacts of microplastics on reef ecosystems is of growing importance. Current methods for extracting microplastics from tissue samples require the use of harsh chemicals that may degrade the surface of plastics, which could hinder accurate polymer identification. The method presented here was developed to extract microplastics from coral and water samples using a sonic cell disruptor. This technique was tested for efficacy in an effort to eliminate the need for chemicals and ensure chemical properties of microplastic surfaces are not altered for polymer identification. This method was performed using laboratory-cultured coral species montastrea cavernosa and Orbicella faveolata as well as culture water samples exposed to cured, fluorescent microplastics (Cospheric® 850-1000µm, 425-500µm, 90-106µm). Both coral and water samples were exposed to a sonic cell disruptor to emulsify fine organic matter. Samples were then vacuum filtered to separate out microplastics, whereby dry weights of microplastics were determined and compared to initial dose weights. The sonic cell disruptor method could not effectively emulsify large quantities of organic debris or mineral debris. Furthermore, it can fragment the microplastics into smaller pieces and is thus recommended for applications using measured doses of plastics. Overall, the use of sonic cell disruption in place of chemicals for organic digestion is an effective method for use with coral samples and water with little organic debris, and is recommended for specific laboratory-based applications.



133. Virgin microplastics translocate to liver and muscles of adult fish after dietary exposure, causing no apparent harm during the experimental period | presenting: Ahmet Erkan KIDEYŞ (Middle East Technical University, Institute of Marine Sciences); authors: Kerem GÖKDAĞ (Middle East Technical University, Institute of Marine Sciences), Turkey Boris (JOVANOVIĆ), Middle East Technical University, Institute of Marine Sciences Ahmet Erkan (KIDEYŞ), Middle East Technical University, Institute of Marine Sciences Olgaç (GÜVEN), Middle East Technical University, Institute of Marine Sciences Yilmaz (EMRE), Akdeniz University Elizabeth M. (WHITLEY), Pathogenesis, LLC, Gainesville, FL, USA ()

Among aquatic organisms, fish are particularly susceptible to ingest microplastic particles due to their attractive coloration, buoyancy, and resemblance to food. However, in previous experimental setups, fish were usually exposed either to unrealistically high concentrations of microplastics  or deliberately contaminated  with persistent organic chemicals and in many experiments fish were exposed only during the larval stages. The present study investigated the effects of virgin microplastics in adult gilt-head seabream (Sparus aurata) after 45 days of dietary exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of 6 common types of microplastic. The overall growth, biochemical analyses of the blood, histopathology, and the microplastics potential to accumulate in gastrointestinal organs or to translocate to liver and muscles were monitored and recorded. Results revealed that short-term ingestion of virgin microplastics is not causing apparent harm to adult gilt-head seabream. The retention of virgin microplastics in the gastrointestinal tract was fairly low, indicating effective elimination of microplastics from the fish body and no significant accumulation after successive meals. However, the largest particles remained trapped in the liver, likely permanently, and 5.3 % of all  analyzed livers contained at least one microplastic particle. Translocation of a single microplastic particle to caudal muscle in one fish was also detected.



134. Impacts of Microplastic on Reproductive Development in Pacific mole crabs on the Oregon coast. | presenting: Dorothy Horn (Portland State University); authors: Dorothy Horn (Portland State University), Elise Granek (Portland State University)

Microplastic are an emerging pollutant in marine and coastal ecosystems. Millions of tons of plastics are added into these systems annually and are of particular concern due to their, persistence, propensity to attract other pollutants, their toxicity and tendency to degrade into microplastics (particles or fibers <5mm) making them easily ingestible. Sandy beaches are consistently exposed to plastic accumulation from wave action and near shore currents exposing the infauna to persistent plastic pollution. Pacific mole crabs (Emerita analoga) are filter feeders that have been shown to ingest microplastic. To assess the impact of polyethylene fibers on the reproductive development of Pacific mole crabs, adult females were exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of polyethylene fibers (<1mm) for 2 months during a reproductive cycle. Effects were investigated on offspring development. Our study shows that the exposure and ingestion of polyethylene microplastic debris at environmentally relevant concentrations may alter the reproductive systems in adult Pacific mole crabs and warrants further research.



135. The Effects of Food and Microplastic Availability on the Uptake of Polystyrene Microbeads in Eastern Oyster Larvae | presenting: Christine Knauss (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science); authors: Christine Knauss (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science), Lance Yonkos (University of Maryland), Don Meritt (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science)

The Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) is an ecologically and economically important species for estuarine ecosystems and a massive effort to restore oyster populations has been ongoing in the Chesapeake Bay. Plastic pollution could pose a problem for oysters and the success of restoration efforts if micrometer sized particles are available and ingested by C. virginica larvae. Little is known about how algae and microplastic abundance influence uptake, or the depuration abilities of larval oysters that have ingested microplastics. To determine the amount of microplastic ingestion under different food concentrations, we fed 1 day post fertilization larvae varying concentrations of the algae Isochrysis galbana (2,000-20,000 cells/ml) and 2 µm or 6µm polystyrene microbeads (0-20,000 beads/ml,) for 24 hours. Larvae were then placed into water without microbeads and allowed to depurate for 24 hours. Preliminary data analysis suggested that microbead concentration was an important factor for larval uptake of 2 μm beads but food concentration was not, especially under environmentally relevant concentrations of microplastics. Initial trends also indicated that larvae expelled more than half of the 2μm polystyrene beads they ingested after 24 hours in clean water. Results will be presented from the 6μm particle experiments, additional runs using 2μm particles, and longer term experiments that were run to compare larval growth when grown with or without microbeads present.



136. Microplastics in commercially exploited fish from Grenada, West Indies | presenting: Clare Morrall (Department of Biology, Ecology and Conservation, St. George’s Univeristy); authors: Clare Morrall (Department of Biology, Ecology and Conservation, St. George’s Univeristy), Denzel Adams (Department of Biology, Ecology and Conservation, St. George’s University), Emily Vogler (UCI Institute for Memory Impairment and Neurological Disorders, University of California, Irvine), Michelle Taylor (Department of Biology, Ecology and Conservation, St. George’s University)

Microplastics are small particles produced for industrial purposes or formed by breakdown of anthropogenic debris. Many Caribbean islands have high coastal population densities and plastic products are abundant. Caribbean islands have variable waste management strategies and the region is vulnerable to natural disasters including hurricanes and flooding. Microplastics have been found in an array of marine environments. Occurrence of microplastic in the intestinal tracts of marine fish is a concern to human and ecosystem health as pollutants and pathogens can associate with plastics. Studies have shown that the incidence of microplastics in marine fish varies with species and location, though causes of variation are not yet well understood.

Prevalence of microplastics (≤ 5 mm) in six fish species from Grenadian waters (representing pelagic, semi-pelagic and demersal lifestyles) harvested for human consumption have been investigated via gut analysis. Harvested tissue was digested in 10% KOH and particles retained on a 0.177 mm sieve were examined. Microplastics identified have been classified according to type, colour and size.

Over 97% of fish examined thus far (n=34) contained microplastics. Current and future work includes: examining the invasive Lionfish (Pterois spp.) for microplastics, analysing fish tissue for mercury and other persistent contaminants, investigating marine invertebrate species as well as water and sand for possible microplastic content. Our findings underscore the importance of continuing investigations into microplastics in marine life; this will contribute to understanding the associated health risks. Our findings support action to mitigate the volume of plastics entering the world’s oceans.

This research was supported by the Caribbean Node of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter.



137. Plastic ingestion by fish in the South pacific: Field study | presenting: Ana Markic (University of Auckland); authors: Ana Markic (University of Auckland), Clarisse Niemand (University of Waikato)

Plastic pollution of the marine environment has raised much concern in the current decade. Plastics do not biodegrade and they pose a threat to a range of marine organism which are prone to plastic ingestion. Upon ingestion, plastic debris does not harm the organisms only physically (rupture, blockage), but it also releases toxic chemicals bound to the surface or internal structure of plastic materials, which then accumulate in tissue of marine animals. Plastic pollution questions seafood safety, and consequently human health safety as well, as coastal and island nations greatly depend on marine resources. In this study, 34 species of commercial marine fish from four locations in the South Pacific (Auckland, Samoa, Tahiti and Easter Island) were examined for the presence of plastic debris in their gastrointestinal tracts and in gastrointestinal tracts of some of their prey (fish, squid, crabs). Plastic debris was found in 33 species collected from 4 locations in the South Pacific. The greatest ingestion rates were found in fish from Easter Island, 49.2 % on average, while New Zealand fish exhibited the lowest ingestion rates (15.8 %). Secondary ingestion was examined on prey of 57 individual fish and was confirmed for nine (17.5 %). Benthopelagic fish, which feed on the bottom and throughout the water column, are more prone to plastic ingestion than benthic and pelagic fish. Additionally, offshore species were found to ingest plastic slightly more often than coastal species. The most common size of recovered plastic debris was between 100 and 500 µm. Black (22 %), blue (18 %), white (17 %) and transparent (12 %) were the most common colours of ingested particles. Most prevalent type of retrieved debris were plastic fragments (49.5 %), followed by fibres (33.9 %) and film (16.6 %).



138. Do microplastics affect marine ecosystem productivity? | presenting: Tineke Troost (Deltares); authors: Tineke Troost (Deltares), Terence Desclaux (Ecole Centrale de Nantes), Heather Leslie (Vrije Universiteit (VU)), Myra Van der Meulen (Deltares), Dick Vethaak (Deltares)

Marine and coastal ecosystems are among the largest contributors to the Earth’s productivity. Experimental results indicate negative impacts of microplastics (< 5mm) on individual algae or zooplankton organisms. Consequently, pelagic marine primary and secondary productivity may be negatively affected by the presence of plastic particles in the water column. In this study we made an attempt to estimate the impacts on productivity at ecosystem level by means of a modelling approach, using our biogeochemical model for the North Sea (Delft3D-GEM). Impacts of microplastics on relevant process parameters of algae and zooplankton were calibrated based on the data from experiments and literature. Although model results suggested that microplastic exposure does not affect the total pelagic primary or secondary production of the North Sea as a whole, relative changes in secondary production locally ranged up to ±10%. In addition, the modeling approach reveals large knowledge gaps which may guide future research. This work was supported by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement No. 308370.



139. One size to fit all: Do Australian aquatic species respond differently to microplastics? | presenting: Scott Wilson (Macquarie University); authors: Scott Wilson (Macquarie University)

Toxicity testing with endemic Australian species has consistently shown that local species have different levels of sensitivity to a range of contaminants compared to species from other regions of the world. As such water quality protection measures have been specifically developed to enable appropriate management of Australian aquatic ecosystems. There is currently limited data on the effects of microplastics to Australian aquatic species thus the question over comparative sensitivities remain and whether a one size fits all approach can be used to managing these impacts. To address this, a series of acute, chronic and behavioural tests are being conducted with microplastics to understand the potential effects to native aquatic fish and invertebrate species.

Preliminary result to date demonstrate reduced feeding behaviour and avoidance of microplastic laden mussels by predatory gastropods at relatively low load levels (20 PE microspherules/g) but no adverse chronic level effects in exposed fish. Further testing is ongoing using both virgin and dosed PE at different trophic and taxonomic levels. This presentation will describe these findings and highlight any differences in effects and concentration responses compared to that reported for other regions. The implications for both Australian and regional level management will be discussed.



140. Ecological impacts of microplastic debris in Southern California sandy beach ecosystem | presenting: Clare Steele (California State University Channel Islands); authors: Clare Steele (California State University Channel Islands), Dorothy Horn (California State University Channel Islands), Michaela Miller (California State University Channel Islands)

Millions of tons of plastic debris are added to marine and coastal ecosystems annually and microplastic pollution is an emerging concern in these systems. Of particular concern is the durability of plastics, their propensity to attract other pollutants, and tendency to degrade into ingestible microplastics (particles or fibers <5mm). Sandy beaches accumulate marine debris, exposing their detritivorous and planktivorous invertebrate fauna to risk of ingestion. Subsequently there is a risk of tissue-transfer of pollutants and bioaccumulation and bioconcentration of pollutants through the food web. We assessed the distribution of microplastics in beach sediments and examined the rate of ingestion by filter-feeding beach infauna along 900 km of the California coast. Microplastics were ubiquitous in beach sediments and commonly found in the gut of <i>Emerita analoga</i>(Pacific mole crab). We experimentally tested for sublethal effects of microplastics presence on the predator-avoidance behavior and reproductive output of <i>E. analoga</i>. Initial results show no strong effect of ingested microplastics on behavior or metrics of reproductive output, however, particulate feeders like these crabs provide a clear exposure pathway for plastic and adsorbed pollutants to enter marine and coastal food webs. Additional experimental testing is needed to evaluate the extent of the ecological impact of microplastics in these coastal systems.



141. Characterization and Environmental Risk Assessment of Polymeric Cosmetic and Personal Care Ingredients | presenting: Iain Davies (Personal Care Products Council); authors: Iain Davies (Personal Care Products Council)

Polymers have been developed to perform a variety of functions that are central to modern living. Cosmetic and personal care products (CPCPs) contain a wide array of polymeric ingredients which are identified by the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI). An INCI name often represents several polymers with different physical and chemical properties. This often leads to one INCI named polymer existing as several physical forms. For example, polyethylene can exist as a solid plastic microbead or a non-plastic wax thickening agent. The presence of polymers in the environment, particularly plastics, is of growing concern, yet relatively little is known about the environmental risk these materials may pose or how this can be assessed. The CPCP industry therefore developed a risk-based prioritization framework for polymeric ingredients. Polymers are characterized by their physchem properties. Solid polymers, such as plastics, are prioritized for assessment since they are routinely detected in the aquatic and marine environment and have the highest potential to contribute to environmental litter. Environmental exposure and hazard of priority polymers is then assessed. When a polymer poses an unacceptable environmental risk, risk mitigation options are considered. A polymer’s physchem properties provide insights into how environmental exposure and hazard can be assessed. A decision tree was developed linking physchem properties to methods for assessing polymers. Depending on a polymer’s properties and how these may change in the environment, polymers are either assessed following existing polymer assessment guidelines (such as those prescribed by USEPA) or use of novel methods. The work presented provides a scientifically robust approach for accurately assessing the impact of polymers in the environment.



142. Microplastics in Global Table Salt Products | presenting: Ji-Su Kim (Incheon National University); authors: Ji-Su Kim (Incheon National University), Chloe Kim (Greenpeace East Asia), Seung-Kyu Kim (Incheon National University)

Microplastic pollution is becoming a global issue in marine environment pollution. Some recent studies have identified microplastic contamination that remains in salt. Since salt is an essential consumer food, the presence of microplastics in salt products means that salt intake is a pathway of exposure to human exposure to microplastics. In addition, since sea-salt is produced through the evaporation of seawater, there is a possibility to represent the degree of contamination of microplastic remaining in seawaters. The purposes of this study are 1) to identify the contamination of microplastic in commercial table salt and 2) to determine if salt can reflect the degree of contamination of microplastic in the seawaters. To do this, we purchased and analyzed the salt samples sold in 17 countries (8 countries in Asia, 7 in Europe, 1 in Africa and 1 in North America) in four continents. In total, 37 samples were identified as final samples, including sea-salt as well as lake-salt and rock-salt. Qualitative quantitative analysis of size, color, polymer, and shape of each microplastic was performed through microscopic analysis and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. Thousands of microplastics were detected per 1 kg of the salt samples of this study, and the predominant forms were fragment and fiber, which were frequently detected in the order of PP > PE > PET. After further analysis, it will be announced that human body exposure, characteristics of microplastic distribution by country, and whether sea water pollution is reflected in salt samples.



143. Quantifying the risk that marine debris poses to cetaceans in coastal waters of the 4-island region of Maui | presenting: Stepanie Stack (Pacific Whale Foundation); authors: Stepanie Stack (Pacific Whale Foundation), Jens Currie (Pacific Whale Foundation), Jessica McCordic (Pacific Whale Foundation), Gregory Kaufman (Pacific Whale Foundation)

Here we present results from the first study to quantify the risk marine debris poses to 5 cetacean species commonly sighted in the leeward waters of Maui, Hawaii by assessing the overlap of cetacean and marine debris densities. Entanglement and ingestion of marine debris poses considerable threat to biodiversity and has been identified as a stressor for a variety of marine life. The 4-island region of Maui provides important habitat for a variety of marine mammals and is located within the boundaries of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. The low recovery probability of marine mammals that have ingested or become entangled in marine debris makes debris interactions difficult to quantify. To assess the risk of entanglement and/or ingestion, line transect surveys were conducted from April 2013 to April 2016 and the location of all floating debris and cetaceans sighted were recorded. Localization of entanglement and ingestion risk was observed by mapping the overlap of debris and cetacean sightings within the survey area. The area of overlap varied between species but was largest for humpback whales, which account for the largest proportion of reported entanglements in the 4-island region of Maui. Identifying areas of high debris-cetacean density overlap can facilitate species management and debris removal efforts.



146. Plastics and microplastics as vectors for bacteria and human pathogens | presenting: Amanda Laverty (Old Dominion University); authors: Amanda Laverty (Old Dominion University), Fred Dobbs (Old Dominion University)

Plastics remain in the environment on much longer timescales than most natural substrates and can provide a novel habitat for colonization by bacterial communities (Zettler et al. 2013). The full spectrum of relationships between plastics and bacteria, however, is little understood. The objective of this study was to examine marine plastic pollution as a substrate for bacteria, with particular focus on Vibrio spp. We set up colonization experiments in a tributary of the lower Chesapeake Bay to follow Vibrio spp. colonization and total bacterial community composition over time. We also collected microplastics and paired seawater samples and determined the presence, abundance, and antibiotic-resistance profiles of Vibrio spp. they harbored. We examined Vibrio isolates’ response to six antibiotics and found no differences between the antibiotic susceptibilities of vibrios isolated from plastics compared to those from surrounding seawater. There was, however, a significant difference in antibiotic susceptibility between isolates from colonization experiments and microplastics, with more resistance overall seen in the former. In every instance examined, we found vibrios to be enriched on plastics by at least two orders of magnitude compared to those from paired seawater samples. Bacterial colonization was detected with DNA sequencing as early as day two and plastic communities were consistently distinct and more diverse than surrounding seawater. Colonization rates and community structure varied temporally and among substrate types, suggesting that numerous factors should be considered when characterizing microbial communities on plastic. This study demonstrates that plastic pollution serves as a habitat for Vibrio species and confirms that plastics may serve as a vector for these and other potentially pathogenic bacteria.



147. An assessment of potential microplastic impacts on the health of the Centropristis striata fishery | presenting: Susanne Brander (Oregon State University); authors: Susanne Brander (Oregon State University), Samantha Athey (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Anthony Andrady (North Carolina State University), Pamela Seaton (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Wade Watanabe, Bonnie monteleone, Alison Taylor

An appreciable fraction marine debris in coastal habitats occurs as microplastics. These particles are ingested by marine organisms and can be transport vectors for aquatic pollutants. The extent of trophic transfer throughout marine food webs is unknown. However, plastics have been found in many food fish species, suggesting a risk of human exposure to plastic particles and their associated contaminants. As part of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, we have initiated an investigation into microplastic ingestion, contaminant bioavailability, and trophic transfer in the Atlantic coast fishery species Centropristis striata (black sea bass). Responses in cultured C. striata will be evaluated alongside those in wild caught specimens. Combined findings on biochemical (e.g. circulating cortisol) and organism level endpoints (e.g. condition index) in wild and lab-reared specimens will be used to produce an impact and risk assessment of marine micro-plastics on the physiology and development of this commercial fish species. A weighted evidence strategy will be used to assign scores to selected assessment and measurement endpoints that will allow for comparisons between field and laboratory data. We are testing three primary hypotheses: 1) In accordance with other microplastic studies in fishes, we predict an overall negative effect of plastic ingestion on lab-reared and wild C. striata. 2) That trophic transfer of plastics to C. striata is more significant than direct ingestion. 3) Commonly used plastic additives associated with ingested microplastics are bioavailable and absorbed into C. striata tissue. We expect that this project will greatly enhance our understanding of marine debris effects on C. striata and other demersal species, as well as informing risks to human health from the ingestion of plastic-contaminated seafood.



148. Hanging by a fibre: The danger of sample contamination by airborne plastic fibres | presenting: Susanne Kühn (Wageningen Marine Research); authors: Susanne Kühn (Wageningen Marine Research), Anastasia O’Donoghue (University of Utrecht), Jan Andries van Franeker (Wageningen Marine Research)

Fibres originating from clothing are ubiquitous in the environment. Studies focusing on microplastic ingestion by fish and invertebrates have reported fibres as composing 100% of the ingested plastics. However, recent studies show that in common lab facilities it is impossible to exclude contamination of samples through airborne fibres. Scientists must be aware of this so as to not overestimate the extent of plastic ingestion by (marine) organisms. In order to provide a more realistic overview of the kinds of (micro)plastic ingested by (marine) organisms, we recommend reporting fibres and other plastic types separately. Ideally, this would be accompanied by a description of what was done to avoid or minimise airborne contamination.



149. Examining incorporation of microplastics into marine snow: A comparison of shape and plastic type | presenting: Kayla Mladinich; authors: Kayla Mladinich, Abigail Plungis (University of Connecticut- Avery Point), Jennifer Wozniak (University of Connecticut- Avery Point), J. Evan Ward (University of Connecticut- Avery Point)

Microplastics of different shapes and sizes are produced as a primary product or as a by-product from the breakdown of larger plastic debris. Polypropylene (PP) and polyester (PE) are common microplastics in marine debris and are used in the production of marine equipment and clothing. Larger plastics debris are fouled in surface waters, causing the typically buoyant debris to sink. Similarly, the sinking rate of buoyant microplastics would increase when these particles are incorporated into marine snow (heteroaggregations). Marine snow offers a medium for microplastic delivery to organisms such as bivalves, leading to high levels of exposure following increased microplastic flux to the benthos. We know little, however, about the rate and efficiency at which plastic particles are incorporated into heteroaggregations. This study examined how PP and PE were incorporated into marine snow. Plastic particles were suspended in natural intertidal seawater filtered through a 210 µm sieve to remove large material, but retain natural particulates and transparent exopolymer particles; important for natural aggregation. Plastic suspensions were transferred to 1-L bottles and placed on a roller table. Incorporation rate was determined over a 5-day period by sampling aggregates from some bottles after days 1, 3 and 5. Aggregation rate was then compared between the two types (PP fibers and PE fibers) and the two distinct shapes (PP fibers and PP granules) of microplastics. Results of these experiments provided insight into how physiochemical properties of microplastics mediate their incorporation into marine snow.



150. Single-Use or Reuse? Understanding why people use single-use plastics instead of reusable alternatives. | presenting: Jill Bartolotta (Ohio Sea Grant); authors: Jill Bartolotta (Ohio Sea Grant), Scott Hardy (Ohio Sea Grant)

Given the growing saliency of plastic marine debris, and the impact of plastics on beaches and aquatic environments in the Laurentian Great Lakes, applied research is needed to support municipal and nongovernmental campaigns to prevent debris from reaching the water’s edge. This study attempts to accomplish this goal examining the barriers and benefits to positive behavior for three plastic debris items in northeast Ohio’s Lake Erie basin: plastic bags, plastic water bottles, and plastic cigar tips. An online survey and focus group were employed to gather data on the use and disposal of these plastic items in the Cleveland area, and to solicit recommendations on how to positively change behavior to reduce improper disposal. The results from this project will be used to inform a social marketing campaign broadcast throughout Cleveland in 2017, as well as to serve as a pilot for related research on plastic marine debris in other Great Lakes states.



151. Data counts! The importance of showcasing locally collected data during the legislative process: Maui County’s Polystyrene Foam Bill 127 | presenting: Cheryl King (Turtle Island Restoration Network); authors: Cheryl King (Turtle Island Restoration Network)

After a ~6 year legislative process, a bill for an ordinance establishing a new chapter 20.26, Maui County Code, restricting the use and sale of polystyrene foam food service containers passed unanimously on May 18, 2017. Maui County council members evaluated countless documents gathered by a special task force and considered thousands of opinions via petitions plus written and oral testimonies. Furthermore, the council requested an 8-person “expert panel” to deeply examine the latest facts and to get their questions clarified. As one of these presenters, I focused on describing the data collected from 40 monthly marine debris cleanups at Ka‘ehu, Maui, Hawai’i. The majority of the 17,825 items were plastic (78.2%) followed by polystyrene foam (8.9%), fabric (4.8%), metal (3.6%), rubber (3.1%), glass (0.9%), and processed wood products (0.6%). Beyond the 8.9% impact, bringing in samples of what had washed ashore right down the road truly resonated with council members. It’s a complicated topic, but there was no denying that if polystyrene foam items became litter, they had a significantly more negative effect on our ocean ecosystem than paper-based products that would be suggested to replace them. Similar to banning the bag, this was simply the right thing to do for our islands and future. Mayor Alan Arakawa signed Bill 127 on June 5, 2017, but the effective date isn’t until December 31, 2018 so vendors have time to make the switch. A similar Hawai‘i Island bill passed on September 20, effective July 1, 2019. Continuing to collect cleanup data consistently before and after these dates will essentially show the effectiveness of these bills. It’s a large time commitment, but we highly encourage other projects to incorporate regular data collection into cleanup activities worldwide.



152. Reducing the risk of cross-contamination through defining an SOP for microplastic collection, processing and identification | presenting: Joao Frias (MFRC); authors: Joao Frias (MFRC), Elena Pagter (MFRC), Fiona Kavanagh (GMIT), Ian O’Connor (GMIT), Róisín Nash (GMIT)

Environmental pollution, in the form of marine litter, has been reported since the 1970’s; however, microplastic research has only come to the fore within the last 20 years. While marine litter and microplastics are currently recognized as ubiquitous pollutants, the full scale of their potential impact is still unknown. Despite the high number of studies published on the topic, surprisingly, there is still a lack of standard operating procedures for sampling, processing and the subsequent identification of microplastics. No consensus exists on reporting units, which creates difficulties when comparing data among studies and consequently the extent of the impact or mitigation measures required.

To address these knowledge gaps, the JPI-Oceans BASEMAN project is working to establish standardized protocols that can be used for research and development and/or monitoring purposes. This work focuses on identifying potential cross-contamination sources from vessels, clothes and/or airborne particles, largely recorded as fibers and fragments, and the subsequent reduction of this contamination through the QA/QC steps identified here. Best practice for microplastics is outlined through the operation of efficient procedures and techniques, improving and cutting costs in monitoring efforts resulting in more reliable data being produced. This is particularly pertinent for policymakers who rely on accurate data to help influence their decision-making. This work follows guidelines and recommendations from NOAA’s Marine Debris Programme and from the Technical Subgroup of descriptor 10 of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.



153. Microplastic pollution in the Canary Islands | presenting: Alicia Herrera (); authors: Alicia Herrera (), Maite Asensio (), Ico Martínez (), Ted Packard (), María Gómez ()

Marine litter and its effects on the biosphere are a growing concern in the scientific community. Microplastics, one component of marine litter, because of their small size, can be ingested by zooplankton and thus enter the food chain. In this way, chemical contaminants associated to microplastics can bioaccumulate and biomagnify at higher trophic levels. The MICROTROFIC project has carried out an annual study of microplastic contamination in three beaches of the Canary Islands. It has also made the first ingestion study of microplastics in the pelagic coastal fish, Scomber colias. The results obtained confirmed the high levels of pollution present in the beaches of the Canary Islands, with concentrations reaching 300 g/m2. Among the debris found, there were also high levels of tar pollution on two of the beaches. The microplastics ingestion study found that 78.3% of the fish were impacted. The microplastics found were mainly synthetic fibers (74.2%), plastic fragments (11.9%) and boat paint-chips (11.5%). The next phase of the MICROTROFIC project will determine the concentration of associated chemical contaminants (POPs and emerging pollutants) and evaluate the effects on fish physiology using the biomarker technique, CEA (Cellular Energy Allocation).



154. Marine Debris Removal as restoration under Oil Pollution Act | presenting: Erika Ammann (National Marine Fisheries); authors: Erika Ammann (National Marine Fisheries)

Under the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) 1990 restoration following an oil spill must be scaled to the damaged incurred by the natural resources and services lost due to the spill. Work has been conducted on human use losses and gains due to Marine Debris on public beaches but not in the area of natural resource restoration. To conduct natural resource scaling it is necessary to quantify the effects of marine debris removal in a way that can be scaled to the damages incurred. Two methods commonly used in scaling for OPA cases are Habitat Equivalency Analysis ( HEA) and Resource Equivalency Analysis (REA) . This poster walks through logic models for quantifying marine debris removal as restoration for REA and HEA scaling, identifies data gaps for these logic models, proposes experimental designs for filling these data gaps, and discusses current work on this in Alaska.



155. Floating an international problem to local officials: the story of the booms, the blocks, and the bags | presenting: Megan Lamson (Hawaii Wildlife Fund); authors: Henry Carson (Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife)

Hawai’i Island has become famous for Kamilo, or “Junk Beach”, where a staggering amount of plastic debris accumulates from around the North Pacific. On field trips to the beach, students found objects of apparently local origin among the debris and wondered the extent to which their community contributed to this global issue. We investigated this using debris-retention booms in the urban watersheds of Hilo, which we used to quantify the amount and types of debris generated. We then released wood block drifters below the booms to simulate where the captured debris would have gone. Although some drifters did wash up near Kamilo, a more surprising result was the number (up to 24% of one release) that were recovered on other Hawaiian Islands. Students presented their data to the local council while they considered, and eventually passed, a ban on plastic bags.



156. Marine debris research to identify solutions | presenting: Suzanne Frazer (Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii); authors: Suzanne Frazer (Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii), Dean Otsuki (Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii)

A non-profit organization in Hawai`i is researching and sorting marine debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in order to find long term solutions to the problem. Items collected from beaches on the islands of O`ahu, Hawai`i and Lana`i from 2008 to 2012 have been sorted, counted and where possible, the manufacturer, country of origin and industry is identified. Significant findings from this project including total number of items collected, the types of items, origins and recommendations for solutions will be shared. Solutions will be proposed at the local, state, national and international level.



157. Influence of sampling techniques and density separation methods on the quantification of benthic microplastics | presenting: Elena Pagter (MFRC); authors: Elena Pagter (MFRC), João Frias (MFRC), Ian O’Connor (GMIT), Róisín Nash (GMIT)

The rapid development of the microplastic research field in recent years has led to an increase in publications from around the world. To date there has been no preferred benthic sampling tool or separation technique for microplastics in sediment, which makes comparison of data between studies and areas very difficult. This research is part of the JPI‑Oceans BASEMAN project, and aims to contribute to these knowledge gaps in sampling through comparing benthic tools (van Veen grab; Reineck box corer, gravity core) and laboratory density separation techniques (elutriation column, sodium chloride solution, sodium tungstate dihydrate solution).

Subtidal sediment samples (27), classified as sand, were collected from Galway Bay, Ireland. Microplastic fibers were recorded from all samples and represented 94% of all findings with the remaining 6% being fragments. While the van Veen grab recorded a higher average abundance of microplastics per kg dry weight (102) when compared to the Reineck box corer (94) and/or the gravity core (80) there was no statistically significant differences between these sampling tools. The sodium tungstate solution proved to be a feasible option for density separation with 210 microplastics per kg dry weight recorded which was statistically significant when compared to the other techniques such as sodium chloride (90) and the elutriation column (50). Design issues with the column used didn’t allow for a realistic comparison and were disregarded from further comparisons.

When cost, which includes the time to deploy benthic grabs, is added as a criterion along with efficiency to produce reliable results, then this study suggests that the Reineck box corer and sodium chloride be recommended as best practice for future benthic sampling and density separation techniques for microplastic monitoring.



158. Quantifying Microplastics and Microfibers in St. Thomas Coastal Environments | presenting: Danielle Lasseigne (University of the Virgin Islands, Master of Marine and Environmental Science Program); authors: Danielle Lasseigne (University of the Virgin Islands, Master of Marine and Environmental Science Program), Julie Masura (University of Washington Tacoma, Center for Urban Waters), Kristin Wilson Grimes (University of the Virgin Islands, Center for Marine and Environmental Studies), Marilyn Brandt (University of the Virgin Islands, Center for Marine and Environmental Studues)

As plastic waste is exposed to UV radiation, high temperatures, and mechanical weathering, it breaks down into smaller pieces. Plastic pieces less than 5mm in size are characterized as microplastics. Microplastics can enter the coastal marine environments through waste water discharge and rain water run-off, and often they are mistaken for food and ingested by sea birds, fish, and corals, causing physical harm. Also, chemical pollutants present in the environment tend to adsorb to plastic surfaces, providing the opportunity to bioaccumulate in the food web if ingested. Many studies have quantified microplastics in coastal environments and ocean surfaces around the world. However, very few studies have quantified them in the Caribbean, and only at regional scales. This study aims to quantify microplastics on beaches, surface waters, and reef associated sediments in embayments around St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands), and test whether microplastics are more abundant in bays with greater anthropogenic activity in associated watersheds. Preliminary results show that microplastics and microfibers (between 1mm – 0.3mm) are present in beach sediment and surface waters on St. Thomas USVI, and are more abundant in embayments experiencing high anthropogenic activity in associated watersheds. Although this project is still being conducted, final results will lead to understanding distribution of microplastics around St. Thomas, and their potential to impact reef-building corals and other marine organisms.



159. Plastic Debris: Ocean a final destination | presenting: AHMED ATHAR (COMSATS Institute of Information Technology,); authors: AHMED ATHAR (COMSATS Institute of Information Technology,), AREEBA ATHAR (Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) Islamabad Campus), NUZHAT KHAN (NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF OCEANOGRAPHY)

Very first videographic record on the issues relate marine debris in the Pakistan Coastal water.

Coastline of Pakistan is about 990 km long along the Arabian Sea. The coastline of Karachi metropolitan is about 70 km long situated between the Cape monze, a high cliff projecting into the Arabian Sea and Korangi creek, is relatively well developed as compared to the rest of the Pakistan coast. It is generally oriented NW-SE. Western side is bounded by the Hub River and mangrove swamps and Indus Deltaic Creeks on the east.

Karachi city, industrial hub of the country facing serious several environmental threats. Over 8 million resident of the city generated more than 8,000 tons of solid waste every day, most of the waste find its final destination to coastal waters due to underprivileged handling of the solid waste. The plastic debris has become very prominent on the beaches of Karachi.

Very first attempt to have videographic recodes of the marine debris and issues relate to it that include deposition/accumulation sites along the coast, sources/dumped sites, environmental and health impacts by interviews of researcher and community representatives.



Track: Implementing Effective Law Regulations & Policy


160. Application of Scoring Techniques to Determine Beach Debris Sources on Remote Open Ocean Areas | presenting: Catharina Pieper (University of the Azores); authors: Catharina Pieper (University of the Azores), Linda Amaral-Zettler (Marine Biological Laboratory), Kara Lavender Law (Sea Education Association), Ana Martins (University of the Azores)

About three-quarters off all Marine Debris (MD) consists of Plastic – a reflection of its worldwide use, production and waste mismanagement. The reduction of MD pollution in the Ocean and its elimination has been a widely discussed topic although, the lack of consistent scientific data precludes that effective measures to reduce plastic pollution can be implemented. The occurrence of MD in shorelines can have multiple sources; meaning that defining which source is the primary polluter can be quite complex. In this study we followed the recommendations proposed by the MSFD Technical Group on Marine Litter, and applied the Matrix Scoring Technique as an approach to consider the likelihoods of single debris items originating from a series of potential sources. Several factors were considered: identity and function of debris, the beaches location, influential activities, “mix” of debris found, presence of indicator-items, and quantity of MD. This method was applied on data collected from 2012 to 2017. The standing-stock (abundance and composition) of MD was investigated in two sandy beaches (Conceição – 38°32’35’’N, 28°37’08’’W; and Porto Pim – 38°31’29’’N, 28°37’32’’W) of the Azores Archipelago (NE Atlantic). The results of this study show promise towards the implementation of a new scoring technique to determine beach debris sources on remote open Ocean areas.



161. Fishing for Litter – Norway | presenting: Kjersti Eline Busch (Salt Lofoten AS); authors: Hilde Rodas Johnsen (Salt Lofoten AS), Peter Sundt (Mepex Consulting AS), Rebecca Bridies (Mepex Consulting AS), Erlend Standal (Salt Lofoten AS)

On behalf of the Norwegian Environment Agency (NEA), SALT has developed and administered a two-year pilot scheme of “Fishing For Litter” in Norway. The pilot scheme is part of the Norwegian OSPAR cooperation, and the result of the scheme is reported to OSPAR. In 2016, more than 48 metric tons of marine debris was collected by voluntary fishing vessels and brought to shore in three participating harbours. The governmental funding of the pilot project was increased in 2017, resulting in an upscaling of the project. By the end of 2017, Fishing for Litter – Norway will include eight harbours and more than 40 participating vessels.

A permanent system of free delivery of marine debris for Norwegian fishing vessels are now under consideration by Norwegian authorities. SALT is in charge of providing knowledge of fisheries, waste management, harbours and infrastructure for this process, and for giving advice regarding the design of such a system. The work is carried out in cooperation with Mepex Consulting AS (Mepex). SALT also cooperate with Mepex on the development of a possible system of extended producer responsibility (EPR) for fishing gear and aquaculture equipment.



162. From source to sea – a framework for marine litter management between government and NGOs in Taiwan | presenting: Ning Yen (Greenpeace East Asia); authors: Ning Yen (Greenpeace East Asia)

The top items of marine litter pollution in Taiwan are PET bottles, straws, fishing gears, plastic cups and tableware, and plastic bags. The distribution of marine litter depends on geography, season, and current direction. The islands which locate off west Taiwan usually receive much more fishing gear and PET bottles from China, while other beach around Taiwan has more local items including styrofoam debris than foreign ones.

In order to effectively solve marine litter problem, key NGOs has formed an alliance in 2017 July and has started regular meeting with Environment Protection Agency to create an overall management framework for longterm governance of marine litter pollution. This is the first time that a platform established between government and NGOs to deal with environmental problem in Taiwan. We identify several goals such as reduction from source, monitor and research, effective cleaning, starting regional dialogue with other countries and education.

For reduction from source, we aim to reduce consumption of single use plastic items gradually by encouraging restaurants, cafeteria and night market to use reusable tableware, levy on single use tableware for take-away consumers, initiating and encouraging alternative for plastic bags and straws, setting water fountain as public service in urban cities, initiating buyback incentive for old fishing gears, etc. Some local corporations have already taken measures like not offering plastic bag (shopping bags) in supermarkets, reducing small package and replacing plastic bag with biodegradable or paper bags. We look forward to share the ongoing strategies for sustainable development.



164. Sustainability of the solid waste management plan of the coastal municipality of Mata de São João, state of Bahia, Brazil | presenting: Gerson Fernandino (Universidade Federal da Bahia); authors: Tais Pereira (Universidade Federal da Bahia), Carla Elliff (Universidade Federal da Bahia), Gerson Fernandino (Universidade Federal da Bahia)

Municipal solid waste has increased in volume all over the world. In developing countries in particular this may cause severe impacts to the environment and to public health. In Brazil, many municipalities present difficulties to sustainably manage their solid waste. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the quality of solid waste management in Mata de São João, Brazil. A sustainability indicator matrix for urban solid waste management was used, which was based on the five sustainability dimensions defined by the Brazilian National Policy on Solid Waste (NPSW). Results indicated that Mata de São João presents low municipal solid waste management sustainability due to: a lack of a Municipal Integrated Solid Waste Plan; absence of selective waste collection; economic insufficiency of the public cleaning service; environmental education restricted to tourist areas; absence of means for social control over public policies related to solid waste; and lack of a social inclusion program for the municipality’s recyclable material collectors. Comparisons with reports of Brazilian federal agencies and research institutes indicated that the problems faced by Mata de São João regarding its adequacy to the NPSW are similar to those of other small municipalities in Brazil. The methodology used in the present study can be easily conducted by municipal technicians and managers who have access to information concerning this issue, and can also be used in other Brazilian municipalities.



165. Harnessing EPA’s Statutes and Programs to Effectively Help Communities Address Aquatic Plastic Pollution in the U.S. and Beyond | presenting: Molly Martin (US EPA R4); authors: Molly Martin (US EPA R4)

EPA created the Trash Free Waters partnership based program to bring together the knowledge and experience of multiple environmental statutes and regulatory and non-regulatory tools needed to wield impactful regional level, national and international efforts towards addressing this complex issue arising from the connection of land to sea

What legal and policy tools exist to bring to an end the roughly eighty percent of marine debris results that results from trash flowing from 1) land to 2) rivers to 3) sea? The U.S. currently has statutes applicable to all of these three stages that can be used to prevent trash from becoming marine debris/litter. EPA has responsibility to implement programs under the following statutes to prevent and mitigate plastic pollution: Pollution Prevention Act, Clean Water Act, and Marine Protected Restoration and Sanctuaries Act. This talk will explore projects and programs under each Statute including examples across various regions of the U.S. and international examples. Topics may include (as time allows more in depth) a) 303 (d) trash listings, stormwater regulation and trash traps, b) the role of sustainable materials management and source reduction in preventing economic impacts marine debris, and c) current ocean dumping testing requirements and microplastics.



166. Governance solutions to the ‘tragedy’ of marine plastics | presenting: Joanna Vince (University of Tasmania); authors: Joanna Vince (University of Tasmania), Britta Denise Hardesty (CSIRO), Peter Stoett (The University of Ontario Institute of Technology)

Marine plastic pollution has become the new millennium’s tragedy of the ocean commons, a complex collective action problem with dire ecological and social consequences. There is long-standing acknowledgement of the difficulty in managing the commons, with regulation, economic and market based instruments, and community-based solutions all having a role to play. Environmental justice is also a key normative dimension to plastic governance since the exposure to accompanying risks is so often inversely related to production and consumption. We review the opportunities and disadvantages to current approaches to plastic governance at multiple scales. We discuss the role of infrastructure, entrepreneurship, legislation, public perception, environmental justice-oriented policies, and social license to operate (SLO) in managing and mitigating marine litter, arguing that while plastic pollution is a tragedy, it is not impossible to overcome. There are numerous opportunities for reducing plastic usage. We share stories of success from countries around the world and discuss the possibility of a global convention aimed at reducing the collective action problem dynamics inherent in this dilemma.



167. Portuguese Partnership on Marine Litter – achievements and call for action | presenting: Paula Sobral (APLM); authors: Paula Sobral (APLM), Joao Frias (APLM), Patricia Louro (APLM)

The 2012 Manila Declaration recognized marine litter as a global threat to coastal habitats and marine species, and gave the United Nations Environment Programme a strong mandate to continue working on this issue. The relevance of marine litter was also emphasized at the Fifth International Marine Debris Conference, as expressed in the Honolulu Commitment and the Honolulu Strategy.

Following the Manila Declaration recommendations, the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) was launched in June 2012, at Rio+20, Brazil. The main goal of the GPML is to protect human and environmental health by reducing and managing marine litter worldwide.

Since GPML was launched, it has strived to create regional, national and local partnerships that will pursue the same global goals.

The Portuguese Marine Litter Association (APLM), created in November 2013, has been working to create the Portuguese Partnership on Marine Litter, and to create the basis to establish the Portuguese Speaking Countries Partnership on Marine Litter.

Public information sessions, presentations, awareness raising campaigns, volunteer cleanup actions, exhibitions and media communication are some of the many actions undertaken by APLM, to expand the issue of marine litter to civil society, governmental and private sector entities.

Over the last two years, APLM has been attending international stakeholder meeting with the Portuguese Speaking Country Community (CPLP), in order to bring marine litter as an environmental concern. So far, several workshops and events in Portugal, East Timor and São Tomé and Príncipe have been made to push forward the formal establishment and creation of these partnerships, focused on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.



168. A Case Study on the Viability of Moving the US Plastic Packaging Industry to Marine Degradable Polymers | presenting: Tony Kingsbury (TKingsbury Consulting LLC); authors: Tony Kingsbury (TKingsbury Consulting LLC)

Using the United States as a case study, the viability of moving the plastic packaging industry away from traditional polymers like polyethylene, polystyrene, PET and polypropylene to marine degradable plastics will be explored. included in the analysis will be the amounts of plastics used, top articles made, and the viability of switching to marine degradable alternatives like PHA. in addition the timeline for such a switch will be presented to understand the time and scale needed to bring alternatives to the market. Lastly, a cost comparison will be presented to show the economic viability of switching various percentages of the market.



Track: Private Sector Collaboration, Technology & Innovation


169. Raman analysis: using spectroscopy to identify microplastics in complex matrices | presenting: Xia Zhu (University of Toronto); authors: Xia Zhu (University of Toronto), Chelsea Rochman (University of Toronto)

Without the use of polymer identification methods, it is often the case that natural polymers are identified as synthetic plastics (false positives) and true polymers are excluded (false negatives) by visual inspection, leading to inaccurate quantification of the amount of microplastic pollution in a given sample. This issue becomes more evident with smaller and smaller microplastics (especially < 100 µm) in complex matrices. To overcome this issue, investigators confirm material type using chemical analysis. Raman spectroscopy is an ideal method for this application because it uses backscattering of laser light from a material to produce characteristic spectra for specific materials, including natural and synthetic polymers, minerals, and dyes, thereby increasing the confidence with which scientists identify plastics in complex samples. We are optimizing methods for single particle identification using library software and creating our own Raman libraries. We are also optimizing methods for multi-particle mapping, scanning and analysis using ParticleFinder software from HORIBA Scientific, New Jersey. Finally, we tested the effects of chemicals commonly used for degradation of organic matter in samples, namely H2O2 and KOH, on the quality of Raman spectra for many polymer types to assure that Raman spectra can still be obtained for common thermoplastics and fibres. Based on our preliminary studies, we are optimistic we can develop a fast and accurate analysis of microplastics in the environment.



170. Application of a Technique for Detecting and Estimating the Quantity of Macro-Litter on Beaches Using Unmanned Aircraft System | presenting: Kieu Tran (Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences); authors: Kieu Tran (Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences), Jeremy Conkle (Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences), Michael Starek (Department of Computing Sciences), James Gibeaut (Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies)

Marine debris is a global issue with adverse impacts on the marine environment, wildlife, economy, and human health. Contamination of marine debris on beaches may vary due to beach topography, hydrological conditions, proximity to litter sources, and the extent of beach use. monitoring beach litter is essential for understanding spatial and temporal patterns, however, these surveys are labor intensive and time-consuming. To maximize the effectiveness of marine debris monitoring, the aim of this study was to develop a comprehensive method for detecting and quantifying the marine debris using images taken by a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS). RGB images were captured by a rotary UAS at various altitudes and dates over a 100 m section of beach on Mustang Island located along the Gulf Coast of Texas. The images were processed through structure-from-motion photogrammetry to derive orthomosaics for each flight. The derived orthomosaics are then passed into an image processing and classification workflow developed for segmentation and delineation of imaged debris. Results were compared across different survey dates to assess the impact of flight design and ground sample distance (GSD) on detection and quantification of marine debris. The proposed UAS method has potential to increase the efficiency and temporal repeatability of marine debris monitoring relative to standardized field counting approaches.



171. Concept for a hyperspectral remote sensing algorithm for floating marine macro plastics. The first measurements. | presenting: Erik van Sebille (Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research); authors: Lonneke Goddijn-Murphy (University of the Highlands and Islands), Steef Peters (Water Insight BV), Erik van Sebille (Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research), Neil James (Environmental Research Institute, North Highland College), Stuart Gibb (Environmental Research Institute, North Highland College)

Remote sensing has the potential to provide long-term, global monitoring but for marine plastics it is still in its early stages. We developed a theoretical reflectance model of sunlight interacting with a sea surface littered with macro plastics, based on geometrical optics and the spectral signatures of plastic and seawater in the visible (VIS) to short wave infrared (SWIR) spectrum. Our model describes a mathematical relation between sea surface fractions of marine plastic and light reflectance measurements in air. In our presentation we will show and discuss the first results of our experiments designed to test the model with measurements at sea using a field spectrometer (the ASD FieldSpec Pro). A few kinds of plastic debris of different chemical composition, shape and transparency, will be analysed. This could be a step forward to the development of a hyperspectral remote sensing algorithm in the VIS-SWIR spectrum, applicable to airborne and satellite observations.



172. Organizational Model and Plan of Action for Funding Efforts to Mitigate the Impacts of Marine Debris | presenting: George “Bud” Antonelis (Na Kama Kai); authors: George “Bud” Antonelis (Na Kama Kai), James Coe, Kirsten Moy (Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative)

The worlds’ oceans cover more than 70% of our planet and the health of these waters is vital to all lifeforms. On-going human disregard for marine ecosystems at all scales is resulting in the accelerated death and disappearance of many species. Among the many factors responsible for compromising the health of our oceans, the negative impacts of marine debris are indisputable. In 1973 the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78) was adopted and the entry into force of its fifth Annex on garbage in 1988 was a significant step in controlling ship-source marine debris. To date, however national and international efforts to further the elimination of marine debris from all sources have been woefully inadequate. This is largely due to the complexity of the problem (jurisdictions, technologies, economics…) and the ease with which it can be ignored. To begin to remedy this failure, we propose the formation of a non-profit organization to oversee the development and funding of comprehensive strategies to mitigate marine debris. To initiate this effort, the US Congress should work with relevant agencies to develop a charter for the organization with the appropriate level of oversight. Once established, the chartered organization would use federal funding to leverage matching funds and cooperation from corporations, foundations, international organizations, NGOs and other governments to conduct a comprehensive grant program guided by a panel(s) of multidisciplinary and multinational experts.



173. Marine debris removal technology bringing together sailing community and marine trade with a focus on prevent | presenting: Dave McLaughlin (Clean Ocean Access); authors: Dave McLaughlin (Clean Ocean Access), Eva Touhey (University of Rhode Island)

Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island has 69 miles of beautiful shoreline facing the Atlantic Ocean, and is home for Newport known as the sailing capital of the world. Millions of people venture to Newport each year to enjoy the cliff walk, mansions and enjoy sailing on Narragansett Bay. Marine debris is a problem locally, and the sailing community brings back stories of horrific issues in the ocean. Clean Ocean Access is working to address this problem and recently developed a partnership with the sailing community, marine trade industry, local government, and state agencies to address the marine debris problem with technology innovative approach to remove floating surface debris and to use marina trash skimmers installations to educate, inspire and empower the community to prevent litter from becoming marine debris. Marina trash skimmers are highly effective at collecting floating surface debris and provide an equally beneficial service of oxygenating the surrounding waters, that in turn breakdowns hydrocarbons that emulsify oil sheen and allows the fuels and oils to be collected in the skimmer. With four units installed on Aquidneck Island and nearly 40 units installed on the west coast of United States, this technology and partnership model serves as scalable and transferable innovative solution to advance marine debris removal and prevention.



174. Increasing the value of plastic through container deposit legislation reduces mismanaged waste | presenting: Qamar Schuyler (CSIRO); authors: Qamar Schuyler (CSIRO), Britta Denise Hardesty (CSIRO), TJ Lawson (CSIRO), Kimberley Opie (CSIRO), Chris Wilcox (CSIRO)

Mismanaged waste and marine debris have significant detrimental effects on wildlife, public health, and the economy. Container deposit legislation (CDL) is one of the many legislative actions proposed by lawmakers to curb the amount of mismanaged waste entering the ocean. Beverage containers may comprise up to 40-70% of coastal litter in some parts of the world, so effective legislation could prove a significant lever to reduce debris inputs to the marine environment. Understanding what factors influence the effectiveness of CDL is essential to designing appropriate legislation. We evaluated CDL in two countries, the United States and Australia, by comparing results of debris surveys in states with and without cash incentives for returned beverage containers. We also examined the influence of factors such as population density, socio-economic status, and time since implementation of the legislation. Overall, states with CDL had a lower proportion of containers compared to those without CDL. Additionally, CDL states had a higher ratio of lids to bottles. The influence of socio-economic factors differs between states with and without CDL, indicating that the marginal value of bottle deposits in poorer areas is significantly higher than in more affluent areas. These results provide strong evidence that fewer beverage containers end up as mismanaged waste in states that provide an incentive (cash refund) for returned beverage containers, and highlight the need to understand not only the results from debris surveys, but also the context in which they are collected.



175. Estimating Costs to Fisheries of Lost Dungeness Crab Traps | presenting: Joan Drinkwin (Natural Resources Consultants, Inc.); authors: Joan Drinkwin (Natural Resources Consultants, Inc.), Kyle Antonelis (Natural Resources Consultants, Inc.)

Crab trap loss in Dungeness crab fisheries on the West Coast of the United States and Canada is widespread and ubiquitous. In the U.S. portion of the Salish Sea, over 12,000 traps are estimated lost each year. Densities of 390 lost crab traps/km2 have been found in Boundary Bay, British Columbia. In the British Columbia Area A crab fishery, fishers reported losing between 6% and 10% of traps deployed annually. Lost crab traps not only continue to trap and kill target species, they threaten navigational safety and may play a role in the increasing numbers of reported large whale entanglements along the west coast.

Lost traps also have economic impacts to the fisheries themselves. Estimating the economic costs of trap loss can employ a variety of methods. Natural Resources Consultants presents two methods to estimate economic costs in West Coast Dungeness crab fisheries. One method relies on limited data available while the second takes advantage of a more robust dataset, including results of controlled research.

In the Area A Dungeness crab fishery, commercial trap loss was reported by each fisher on the annual Crab Trap Questionnaire required by the Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Using these data combined with readily available information on the cost of trap replacement and landed values, we can estimate that the value of lost traps represents approximately 4.68% of the average annual landed value of Dungeness crab from Area A from 2010 – 2015.

In the U.S. portion of the Salish Sea, lost crab traps were simulated and the number of crab trapped and killed in the traps were documented. These data were combined with loss estimates, catch effort, crab value, and additional harvest variable cost rates to estimate the annual value of harvest lost due to lost traps at $744,296, or 4.5% of exvessel value.



176. Economic Costs of Paraffin Pollution | presenting: Ryan Metcalfe (KIMO International); authors: Ryan Metcalfe (KIMO International)

Pollution from paraffin on beaches and coastlines is an ongoing issue for coastal communities. It continues to be found washed up on beaches in various countries bordering the North Sea and the Baltic Sea and has serious consequences for the environment, wildlife and for coastal communities.

Pollution from paraffin presents a major risk to marine life as paraffin fragments are mistaken for food by marine animals and swallowed. The risk to humans is less clear but most forms will irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory tract and some are considered to be carcinogenic.

Pollution from paraffin is detrimental to the recreation and tourism industries of coastal communities. The impact on local economies can be considerable and income will be lost to local communities when beaches are closed following the incidence of paraffin pollution. Since identification of the source of the pollution is extremely difficult the costs of the consequential beach and shore clean-up and processing of waste are currently borne by coastal communities and national governments.

Between 2012 and 2016, at least 91 incidents occurred in 5 OSPAR countries affecting 300 km of coastline, involving at least 37 Local Authorities and costing well over €1.4M. As a consequence of poor/inconsistent reporting of data, the number of incidents recorded and the associated costs are likely to be very low estimates. Robust protocols that facilitate more consistent, accurate reporting are necessary to recognise the full extent of this problem.



177. Crowd NIR scanning of (micro) plastics. | presenting: Bert van Bavel (Norwegian Institute for Water Research); authors: Bert van Bavel (Norwegian Institute for Water Research)

One of the most exiting innovations in the field of NIR spectrometry is the development of pocket size (smaller than a cigarette package) spectrometer as an affordable (220 $) gadget for mobile telephones (, 4 x 6.8 x 1.5 cm). This development makes this technology available at a larger scale and for the testing of the concept with for example NGOs. Here we are working closely together with ͚Hold Norge Rent͛ as a partner to dissimilate the technology. In the first phase of the project we are validating the concept to store data of litter in a ‘knowledge’ cloud. The collected data includes a picture(s) of the sample, GPS coordinates, date and time and the NIR spectra of the plastic. To be able to add meta scientific information to the observation of litter is crucial and will add value scientific value of data collected by volonters at for exempel beach cleaning or surface (manta) trawlings. This way polymers can be identified and traced back to user patterns, products or other sources and be used for model purposes. The NIR scanner is projected to be developed further directly into a mobile phone by a telephone producer. NIR spectrophotometer available to the general public worldwide is an opportunity not to be missed within marine litter research.



Track: Single-Use Product Policies, Regulations & Laws


178. Using Charismatic Sea Turtles to Influence Policy: Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Balloon Ban Initiative | presenting: Tommy Cutt (Loggerhead Marinelife Center); authors: Tommy Cutt (Loggerhead Marinelife Center), Demi Fox (Loggerhead Marinelife Center)

Marine pollution is widely acknowledged as a significant threat to all sea turtle species. Ingestion of debris and entanglement are often causes for the animals’ admittance to Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC), a sea turtle research, rehabilitation, education, and conservation organization in Juno Beach, Florida. When released, accidentally or intentionally, deflated balloons often ultimately litter the beach and ocean making them one of the deadliest types of marine debris for the endangered species. Today, state law prohibits the intentional release of ten or more balloons in a 24-hour period, but does little to prevent incidental pollution. In an effort to promote the protection of marine life, LMC launched a Balloon Ban Initiative focused on the Southeast Coast of Florida in 2016. Using charismatic sea turtles as our platform, we partnered with municipalities to prohibit or discourage the use of balloons in coastal areas. The program provides three levels of participation: distribution of educational materials alone, educational materials and installation of signage, and finally, educational materials, signage, and the adoption of an ordinance or resolution. Upon receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from local communities, municipalities in other Florida regions began to reach out in the interest of joining the Balloon Ban. Currently, 15 municipalities across five counties participate in the program. We found that communicating directly with leaders in each municipality was a successful strategy to effect change. We are working to expand the reach of the ban across the state by way of individual partnerships that best suit each city or town in the hopes of providing widely-dispersed protection for the state’s sizable sea turtle population.



179. Wet Wipes Turn Nasty! | presenting: Sue Kinsey (Marine Conservation Society); authors: Emma Cunningham (Marine Conservation Society), Sue Kinsey (Marine Conservation Society)

Wet wipes are one of the great convenience products of the 21st century, with more than 70% of people using some form of single-use wipes. However – instead of ending up in the bin when they’re finished with –many end up down the loo, and ultimately in the sea. And worse, even the ones labelled as ‘flushable’ may contain plastic.

MCS’s Great British Beach Clean 2016 report showed that wet wipes had increased by 700% in a decade.

Currently wet wipes don’t meet water industry standards on flushability. It costs South West Water and their customers in the UK £4.5million each year to clear around 8,500 – about 65% of which are caused by wipes and other sanitary products being flushed down the toilet.

MCS launched the ‘Wet Wipes Turn Nasty’ campaign in June 2016. Eight water companies backed the campaign. We created an inflatable wet wipe monster, Wallace, for events, trialled new types of campaign communications and took retailers down the sewers to get face to face with the issue.

We engaged 100,000 people on social media, 13.9 million media reach and a 23% public awareness of the campaign. We worked with the main UK retailers, with 12 now reviewing the flushability and labelling of their own brand wipes, and most saying they’ll make them plastic free. This is critical, as over 30% of people surveyed do not read disposal information, and 20% have flushed wet wipes, even if they weren’t labelled as flushable.