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RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS
Teams of academics and other partners are leading marine debris research that answers questions about marine debris types, impacts, and solutions in the Mid-Atlantic. Research papers, reports, and other technical publications are available below.
Marine Debris Content Portlet
This report summarizes the issues and ideas presented by the speakers and participants at the California Microfiber Workshop. The solutions presented cover a range of techniques and ideas that were discussed during the workshop. The themes and questions that were asked by multiple stakeholders have been described and represent the opinions expressed by workshop participants, and not necessarily the authors or funders of this report.
This paper examines the current Virginia ADV program and considers how it can be amended to make it more effective. It then identifies policies from other states’ ADV programs and recommends how some of these policies can be implemented in Virginia to improve its ADV program.
A journal article in The American Biology Teacher which describes the protocol developed for high school teachers to educate students about microplastics and how to successfully isolate and observe them. Teachers and students in Maryland successfully isolated microplastics from biofilm samples from the Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland, and shared their results. International teachers and students in Barcelona, Spain, involved in a related project, had similar results and shared experiences through images, video, and online meetings. These collaborations provide important opportunities for student-driven inquiry and for them to engage in methods of current scientific research. Access the article here.
For a little more than four years (April 2014 through June 2018), a project team led by the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and its partners conducted monthly monitoring of marine debris on four coastal beaches in Virginia. The monitoring team conducted 54 surveys on Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach; 51 surveys on Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Accomack County; 50 surveys on Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge in Northampton County, and 52 surveys on Grandview Nature Preserve in Hampton. This report summarizes their findings.
This report covers research from 2021-2022 and recommendations to address abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs) in Virginia’s waterways. The report summarizes the discussions of the Virginia ADV Work Group comprised of federal, state and industry representatives. The report has been reviewed and approved by state natural resource agency leadership.
To assess the ecological and economic impacts of derelict blue crab pots in the Chesapeake Bay, a diverse team of researchers from CSS-Dynamac, Inc.; Versar, Inc.; the Virginia Institute of Marine Science; and Global Science & Technology, Inc. recently completed a comprehensive Bay-wide assessment as part of a project funded by the NOAA Marine Debris Program. In addition to the Chesapeake Bay assessment, the team also created a Guiding Framework for derelict fishing gear assessments, which can be applied to other fisheries and/or regions interested in conducting similar studies. Both documents can be found on this page.
The goal of this study was to better understand the economic effects of changes in the amount of debris on beaches. The results may help federal, state, and local agencies structure future debris abatement and mitigation projects to maximize social benefits provided by coastal resources. To address these goals, we collected data from four coastal areas in the United States: Gulf Coast beaches in Alabama, Atlantic Ocean beaches in Delaware and Maryland, Lake Erie beaches in Ohio, and Pacific Ocean beaches in Orange County, California. Access the report here.
The Curbside Disposal Education Campaign Pilot took place from July 2020 to May 2021 and was rolled out in Washington, D.C., through a partnership between the Environmental Protection Agency’s Trash Free Waters Program and the local District government, including the D.C. Mayor’s Office of the Clean City, D.C. Department of Public Works, and D.C. Department of Energy and Environment. The primary goal of this initiative was to educate residents about proper waste containment and encourage behavioral changes to reduce unintentional leakage associated with curbside municipal trash collection.
Summary report of a two-day workshop convened by the Chesapeake Bay Program's Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, to identify current knowledge of microplastic pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and potential policy implications. The summary report includes several recommended actions which were presented to the Chesapeake Bay Program for consideration.
This paper highlights case studies about other states' efforts to require or incentivize the use of TEDs and recommends policies for Virginia to adopt that have proven successful elsewhere. First, it outlines the threats to terrapins at large, as well as the threat posed by commercial and recreational crabbing, specifically. Next, it details the efforts that other East Coast states have made to combat the problem, including policies that require or incentivize the use of TEDs on crab pots, and discusses the regulatory framework currently in place in Virginia. Finally, this paper concludes by analyzing the approaches taken by other states and recommending specific policies that Virginia can pursue to reduce the deaths terrapins face from crab pots.