New microplastics study on our coast

Are you concerned about the amount of plastic ended up in our coastal and marine environment? Do you want to play an important part in determining the level of micro plastics at your local beach?

Plastic items in the ocean is weakened by the sun and broken down into smaller and smaller particles over time by surf and abrasion.

Mircoplastic particles such as these can end up in marine food chains leading to plastic contamination in the fish we eat. Picture: Renee Mouritz
Mircoplastic particles such as these can end up in marine food chains leading to plastic contamination in the fish we eat. Picture: Renee Mouritz

In addition to this, some commercial cosmetic products such as facial scrubs contain tiny microplastic beads that can end up in our oceans via sewage outfalls. And if this wasn’t enough, the raw material used in plastic manufacture are small plastic resin pellets, which can also end up in the sea via spillages that end up in stormwater drains or during transport.

Microplastics have a huge impact on our coastal and marine environment. The particles are often mistaken for food by a large variety of marine fauna and end up in the food chain. Many species of fish have been found to contain micro plastics and therefore they are sometimes in the food we eat.

NACC is seeking volunteers to assist with a baseline study into micro plastics in the Northern Agricultural Region.

NACC’s Coastal and Marine Project Officer, Hamish Longbottom said: “Very little is known about how much microplastic is in in our oceans and on our beaches. This study will help answer this question and when surveys are repeated in the future we can tell if management strategies put in place to reduce microplastic contamination are working”.

Volunteers are needed to help out for a morning or afternoon session in August 2016. The survey is easy and all necessary equipment and training is provided. Plus you get to spend some time enjoying the beach!

If you are interested in taking part contact Coastal and Marine Project Officer, Hamish Longbottom Ph 9652 0872 or email hamish.longbottom@nacc.com.au.

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