Thursday, May 26, 2011

Where Did the Disks Go?

Disks collected on Herring Cove
Beach, Provincetown, MA, 4/8/11
We're still finding disks from the Hooksett, NH wastewater treatment plant here in NH. In fact, recent news said that they had made it all the way to Nantucket, MA. Since I last posted about the issue, the company EnPro Environmental Services has been contracted to do the cleanup, although we're still actively participating by picking up disks and reporting the locations to EnPro.

This has been a spectacular demonstration of how trash travels. A model of the disk spill was created by Liuzhi Zhao, Changsheng Chen and Qichun Xu at UMASS Dartmouth and R. C. Beardsley at WHOI with support from Ru Morrison. This experiment was suggested by Ru Morrison as an example of the Northeast Coastal Ocean Forecast System (NECOFS) applications of NERACOOS, the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems. Check out the model below:

1 comment:

  1. I think the interesting thing about this study is that it shows that plastic debris in the ocean can come from pretty for up stream. Those plastic disks had to travel quite a ways down the river before reaching the ocean. The disks were identifiable, but what other plastic debris comes from Hooksett, or further upstream, in, say Concord? The same question goes for any river. I have captured plastic flowing down the Connecticut River. This study show a definite connection to roadside litter and debris in the ocean.