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A Systematic Approach to Marine Debris Reduction Efforts and Education in New Hampshire

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5 Author(s)
Jambeck, J.R. ; Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham ; Damiano, L. ; Magdol, Z. ; Merten, A.
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A recent focus of marine debris research is to identify and target pollution sources so that solutions to the problem can be developed through policy and education. This project hopes to expand upon this focus by also examining public attitudes toward marine debris and using this information with cleanup data to systematically implement and test community mitigation techniques. One objective of this research was to examine current community marine debris cleanup and reduction efforts in New Hampshire (as a baseline) by analyzing beach cleanup data. Marine debris monitoring data has been collected by the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation over the past four years. Cleanups have been conducted by the organization at fourteen different New Hampshire sites during this time. A data summary was composed for each which included a compilation of data from 2002 through 2006. Additionally, marine debris composition (e.g., land-based, ocean-based, etc.) was mapped in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) along with significant influencing factors. Besides mapping the marine debris quantity and composition per collection site, the powerful component to GIS is that any potential influencing data available can be tied to all of these locations. The full integration of all available data will allow the evaluation of trends and correlations in marine debris data with myriad potential influences. Additionally, because the amount of ocean-based debris found on the NH Seacoast is greater than land-based debris for the majority of beaches, a new outreach program targeting commercial and recreation fisherman is being implemented. Finally, new technologies for monitoring, specifically, using personal digital assistants (PDAs) with integrated GPS systems to collect marine debris or oiled shoreline data have been evaluated. This technology could be transferred to other applications for monitoring marine pollution.

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Date of Conference:

Sept. 29 2007-Oct. 4 2007