SEA Currents: plastic pollution
Plastics Paper Gains Widespread Attention
Congratulations to Dr. Kara Lavender Law, SEA Research Professor of Oceanography, whose article, “Plastics in the Marine Environment,” was among the top ten downloaded articles out of 1,075 articles published in the scholarly journal, Annual Reviews, in 2017.
In the article, Dr. Law presents a comprehensive framework with which to evaluate the sources, distribution, and environmental impacts of plastic pollution in the ocean. The framework was a collaborative work of the Marine Debris Working Group of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, supported by Ocean Conservancy, of which Law was a co-Principal Investigator. The working group’s goal was to advance the scientific understanding of the problem in order to inform strategies to reduce or eliminate future contamination of the ocean by plastic debris.
For a limited time, the article may be accessed without a subscription here.
Plastics in Our Oceans: We’re All in the Same Boat
Hello, dear reader!
Up until now, daily blog posts have covered life onboard our floating home/lab and the cultural research, science deployments, and sail handling—with the occasional relay race or poetic interlude thrown in to boot—that comprise our day-to-day on the Seamans. Today, however, S-276’s Conservation & Management class have the privilege of sharing some of the research we’ve been conducting in both Woods Hole and here in New Zealand (well, several hundred miles offshore, currently).
Wellesley Student’s SEA Internship Focuses on Plastics Pollution
Eight weeks ago I was driving cross-country to claim my title as Single-Use Plastics Reduction (SUPR) Intern for the Sea Education Association (SEA) NOAA Marine Debris collaboration. Upon arrival, one of my first tasks was renaming our project. While SUPR (pronounced super) Intern was catchy and drew coveted connections between Wonder Woman and myself, it wasn’t exactly informative of my job or earthly abilities. SUPR soon became Trash Shouldn’t Splash, a campaign that officially launches on August 12th 2017 at the Woods Hole Science Stroll.
Trash Shouldn’t Splash is a collaborative project by SEA, Falmouth Water Stewards’ Skip the Straw, and the NOAA Marine Debris Program. It aims to reduce the amount of plastic trash in the ocean by decreasing the use of one-time plastic items such as straws, coffee cups, and take out containers. Launching off President Obama’s Executive Order 13707: Using Behavioral Science Insights to Better Serve the American People, I’ve been building an annotated bibliography to survey social norm research. This ongoing project will be a valuable tool when the grant work has been completed.
SEA Professor Co-authors Analysis of All Plastics Made
In order to help guide strategies to confront the problem of plastics pollution, scientists today published the first-ever global analysis of all the plastics made since widespread production began in the 1950s.
The study, published by Science Advances, traces worldwide plastics production, use and what we do with plastic after we’re done with it.
“Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made” was co-authored by Dr. Kara Lavender Law, Research Professor of Oceanography at Sea Education Association, Dr. Jenna Jambeck , University of Georgia, and Dr. Roland Geyer, University of California, Santa Barbara.