During the 5 months of sampling we found the overall average concentration / beach was:
|Beach||Overall AVG Microplastics concentration pieces/m3|
The seven main categories of microplastics found in samples were:
- Pellets (pre- fabricated nurdles)
- Whole Pieces
- Cigarette Parts
2) Keep it Simple: Since we depend on our volunteers, realizing that they are giving up their time to help out means that we needed to streamline our protocols and make this project as simple as possible.
3) Sampling doesn't always go as planned: The ideal sampling session is a beautiful day- 75 degrees, sunny, no wind and dry, dry, dry sand that can go through sieves easily, no parking issues and few people on the beach. These days happen, but when they don't it makes sampling frustrating and we need to adjust. If the sand is too wet, we either reschedule or we bag up the samples and dry them at UNH (or usually, my basement), if there are too many people, you have to reschedule (why summer sampling needs to happen in the early morning or the late afternoon) and if it is cold, overcast or windy, you just have to dress warmly and work quickly and efficiently. If the day is not ideal, plan to sample, but realize it could be rescheduled.
4) Many hands make easy work: This is where volunteers come in. Without our volunteers, this project, as fun, interesting and IMPORTANT, as it is, could not happen with the help of volunteers. The more we have, the better. On days when we have 6-8 volunteers, we can do a beach in 1.5 hours. When I sample alone, it can take closer to 2.5 hours. So please, sign up and volunteer and bring a friend!
This year, with the early onset of spring and the lack of snow on the beaches, we start sampling on April 11th! We have reduced the number of beaches from 12 to 6, and all beaches are readily accessible. Our protocols have been streamlined as best as possible and we hope to just do quick trainings on the days we sample. We plan on sampling every month beginning in April and ending in October. We also hope to have a few sorting sessions throughout so we can be all wrapped up by November.
Here is the schedule for April- again- we hope for perfect days, but we also realize that we may have to reschedule in case of weather.
- Mon 4/11- 10 AM:Hampton Beach
- Tues 4/12-10 AM: Wallis Sands State Beach
- Thurs 4/14-1 PM- Jenness Beach
- Fri 4/15-1 PM- North Hampton State Beach
- Mon 4/18- 3:30 PM-Seabrook Beach
- Tues 4/19-4 PM- Hampton Harbor
See you on the beach!
|Microplastics hashtags in the sand : #nhmarinedebris, #plasticisforever, #findthenurdle|