Research is Essential
The main reason that his project is a collaboration between the University of Portsmouth and Just One Ocean is in order that we can undertake further research. For example, the data that we gather from the citizen science samples and analysis will enable us to evaluate the distribution and composition of microplastics. Images will potentially help us to identify shapes colours and potentially density. Physical samples can be further analysed for toxins and types of plastics.
One of the outcomes of the survey will be the effective mapping of data using the GIS services that we have available at the University of Portsmouth. Density, colours and accurate locations will potentially enable us to target ‘hot spots’ and take action. We can also potentially start to analyse the movement of plastics as the data base and our understanding grows. The ultimate aim is that this mapping data will be available to those who need it.
Another key outcome of the research will be the establishment of a database. The data submitted will be categorised and held centrally. As we find out more and more, the types of information we gather will change and so will the database. It will be dynamic and under constant development. Importantly, it will also be available for others to access.
This project will provide us with a huge amount of data and plenty of opportunities. We will be undertaking additional research across a whole range of areas and to be honest, as the data available increases so will the scope of the research.
We aim to support undergraduate and postgraduate studies with the provision of data and hopefully funding. For example we are already looking into how existing data and knowledge of coastal sediment movement might be applied to the transport of microplastics and how wildfowl might be impacted.
Another key part of this programme will be the development of our survey techniques and digitising the process as much as possible. This will improve the process and make it more efficient.
As you can imagine all of these projects will require funding which takes time to gather, so we will keep you updated as we progress.