STSM: PlasticWatch – Citizen Science to monitor macro and microlitter in freshwater environments
Dr Luisa Galgani | University of Siena, Italy | 26.11. to 03.12.2017 | 08 Days
Host: Gitte Kragh | Hostinstitution: Earthwatch Oxford, UK
PlasticWatch – Citizen Science to monitor macro and microlitter in freshwater environments
Anthropogenic impacts on aquatic ecosystems: plastic pollution
Summary of research completed in STSM:
The STSM PlasticWatch has been directed to individuate the best research methodologies for microplastics monitoring in freshwater systems through citizen science projects. This work has been achieved by a cooperation between the University of Siena, Italy, and Earthwatch Institute, UK, which are constantly in contact for implementation and progress. Earthwatch has a long history of successful citizen science initiatives, among these the international platform FreshWater Watch. FreshWater Watch is Earthwatch’s global citizen science project to investigate the health of the world’s freshwater ecosystems on a scale never seen before. It spans over several cities, countries, in urban and rural ecosystem, across 6 continents, for a total of 18000 datasets acquired up to now. At present, more than 2500 ecosystems are being monitored and more than 8000 citizens have been trained in water research. Within this initiative, and building on it a new protocol, the STSM PlastcWatch has been focused on setting up the necessary tools, protocols, and online management system to include microplastics among the other parameters already monitored (including macro litter). This way, through FreshWater Watch network, essential information on the abundance of microplastics in freshwater systems will be achieved, making it possible to individuate local point sources and act consequently, by informing stakeholders and policy makers. Additionally, the acquired data on microplastics presence and abundance in freshwater systems will add the missing information to the global inventory of marine microplastics already being developed by other NGOs, contributing to tackling the microplastics problem from its source to its end into our oceans.
The whole report can be found here: