From the wrack line

Posted by Ken Campbell May 17, 2011 0 Comment 2278 views

I’ve gone back and forth about what I want to accomplish on the Olympic Grand Circle when it comes to the issue of coastal plastic pollution. At first, I wanted to do samples along the way of beach trash, focusing on the amount of plastic I found. Then, learning more about the micro-plastics problem, I was interested in studying what is the most critically important piece of the puzzle. It is an activity best suited to a group, however, with more labor-intensive and time-consuming sampling methods.
One thing I want to be sure of is that whatever I end up doing, it can be used as part of a larger project. I should be able to transfer whatever data I collect to research that is ongoing elsewhere; figuring out just what that is and how to do it is the question.
I met last week with Julie Masura, Research Affiliate for the Center for Urban Waters and Carrie Hernandez, Stormwater Program Manager at Citizens for a Healthy Bay. We talked about the programs that they are involved with and what their specific needs would be. After going over the route and discussing the operational limits I would be under, we came up with what I am calling, for lack of a better term, a “plan.”
Since there hasn’t been an organized sampling of many of the areas I’ll be passing through, my primary responsibility will be to document beaches and waterfront places where future sampling can be performed. I’ll be using a GPS to pinpoint locations that are obvious pollution problem areas and I’ll do spot inventories as well, hopefully providing a big-picture view of the peninsula.
The information on locations and other data I’ll collect will be used to determine future areas for more focused research. There’s no cohesive overview that is currently available to those doing the analysis at this point when it comes to comparing one area with another, which is what I will be in a unique position to do.
More on the nuts and bolts later. But it’s good to have a plan.

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