Miami Plastic Patrol

Citizen science initiative to sample and quantify microplastics in Biscayne Bay, FL, USA

≈ 60 Entries

Last on:
4 Feb 2024

Miami Plastic Patrol is a citizen science initiative created by Melinda Paduani with the help of Sarah Davis (of the Mapping Microplastics Project), Florida International University's Institute of Environment, and NightSea. The goal of Miami Plastic Patrol is to create a baseline of microplastic pollution (plastics less than 5 mm in size) in Biscayne Bay, FL, USA. This baseline will provide a starting point for water quality policies to be developed and eventually manage and reduce microplastics getting into Biscayne Bay.

Participating host organizations obtain equipment kits and conduct water sampling by manually scooping water with jars or by towing a neuston net behind a boat. Samples are taken at locations and times that work for the organizations program(s), which can include in the open water, along coastal areas, in canals, or other waterbodies connected to Biscayne Bay, and samples must be collected at a minimum of twice a year (once during the wet season and once during the dry season). Participants then take their samples to a classroom, lab, or other space to analyze them for microplastics.

Along the way, participants will gain awareness of microplastic pollution and hopefully be motivated to take action to reduce its presence in the environment. Talk to your local school, nonprofit organization, or other institution about partnering with Miami Plastic Patrol to begin a sampling campaign - because the problem of microplastics is too big for anyone to solve by themselves!