A Pump-Based Method to Sample Midwater Microplastic Pollution

Authors: Kathleen Donovan; Eric Stultz; Spencer Hoagland; Thomas Lipkin

Advisors: Lorraine Higgins; Lindsay Davis

Category: Undergraduate

Microplastics, plastic pieces less than 5mm in diameter, are a threat to marine ecosystems. The Port Phillip EcoCentre quantifies surface level microplastics entering Port Phillip Bay in order to advocate for policy to mitigate microplastic pollution in Australia. We worked with this organization to develop a method to collect microplastics at greater depths, between 0.2 to 2 meters below the water’s surface. We designed and tested a portable pump and created a how-to video and an instructional manual for its use. We also created an animation to show the consequences of microplastics and the importance of our project to the public.

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