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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: News


October 29, 2019

New Funding Will Expand & Share Research on Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution

SEA Semester

Attendees of the second SCOR-FLOTSAM Working Group meeting held at Utrecht University (Utrecht, Netherlands) in May 2019.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, researchers are taking practical steps to help curb ocean plastics pollution by sharing scientific research where it will do the most good!

The $50,000 grant, announced last week, will provide funding to expand a working group meeting supported by the Scientific Committee on Ocean Research (SCOR)  entitled, “Improving the Understanding of the Physical Processes Governing the Transport of Marine Litter.” The goal is to disseminate scientific findings on the physical processes governing the transport of floating marine litter, especially plastics.

“Concern about the widespread contamination of the marine environment by plastic debris and its potential impacts on wildlife continues to grow, yet some of the most basic questions about the abundance and distribution of this debris remain unanswered. Scientific working groups, such as those supported by SCOR, play an important role in defining research priorities that will ultimately inform solutions to this global environmental problem”, said SEA Research Professor Kara Lavender Law.

Specifically, the effort will build on the accomplishments of SCOR’s Working Group 153, “Floating Litter and its Oceanic TranSport Analysis and Modeling (FLOTSAM)” with a scientific meeting tentatively planned for Tokyo, Japan in 2020. The award will support attendance by scientists outside of the formal working group, including early career scientists and scientists from developing countries. The meeting will include a scientific workshop for researchers with expertise in ocean physics, plastic pollution, and related fields, as well as a symposium on ocean plastics open to a public audience. The grant will also support development of science communication materials designed for both technical and non-technical audiences.

SCOR is an international, interdisciplinary NGO hosted at the University of Delaware and supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation. The grant application was submitted by SEA Research Professor of Oceanography, Kara Lavender Law, who is a co-chair of the FLOTSAM working group, together with chair Stefano Aliani (Institute of Marine Science, CNR, Italy) and co-chairs Nikolai Maximenko (University of Hawaii) and Erik van Sebille (Utrecht University, Netherlands). The grant will be administered by SEA with support from SCOR.

Categories: News, • Topics: plastics  pollution  marine debris  featured • (0) Comments

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