Counting games

Posted by Ken Campbell May 27, 2011 0 Comment 704 views

As I am cataloging possible sampling sites on the Olympic Grand Circle, I’m also going to try to quantify my results a little. I’m going to be measuring out a square, two meters a side, using a rope that I’ll have with me. Inside this 4 square-meter area, I’ll attempt to collect all the plastic waste I can find which, when one site is compared to others, should give a rough overview of the distribution of plastic pollution all around the Olympic peninsula.
There are some problems with this scenario. I’m going to miss most of the micro-plastic that might be in the sample area simply because individual pieces are too small for me to extract them from the sand and gravel. My selection of sampling sites will be fairly arbitrary (most likely places close to where I am camped), which may not provide the best data. I expect there are other holes in the process as well but I am honestly not too concerned.
What I will be able to do is to establish some facts about where things are right now. The information I accumulate will enable us to get an overall perspective on plastics in the region as well as allow for comparisons between one sector and another. That’s a lot. It’s not everything, but it’s a lot.
I’m going to be in the San Juans for the next few days. I’m hoping to give the process a test-run somewhere up there… more to follow.

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