Seaside Sustainability collaborates with local, regional, and national partners to work on projects in the area of marine sciences. Thanks to our partnership with the Gloucester Clean City Commission we have been able to facilitate the Trawling of local Marine Debris.
Marine Debris Trawls
Each year 1.4 billion pounds of plastic enter our ocean, some visible to us, and some not. Because of the ocean’s often hostile environment, plastics that enter the ocean don’t always stay intact, rather they break apart into smaller pieces that can be easily ingested by marine animals. Because of this, Seaside Sustainability is working to do extensive research on the prevalence these plastics exist in our local marine environment, hopefully gaining information that can be shared with the public for education and community awareness to prevent further problems from occurring.
Working under a NOAA grant and in collaboration with UMASS Boston, Maine Lobster Foundation, and Cohasset Center for Coastal Research Studies, Seaside conducted 30+ trawls in Cape Ann and Salem Sound over the course of 2014-16. We plan to test different methods for identifying plastics, including putting a blacklight filter on a microscope, and evaporating much of the water so heavier materials are all that remain.