Event Title

A Study on the Impact of Current Speed on Micro-plastic Concentration

Presentation Abstract

The estuarine factors that influence density stratification (riverine input and tidal exchange) in Possession Sound, located in the northeast arm of the Whidbey Basin, also influence the distribution of anthropogenic plastics. Research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) demonstrated that plastics collect at the surface of the water column and in the sediments. Undergraduate researchers at the Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA), an early college program through Everett Community College, sampled the surface of the water column for microplastics in the spring of 2013. Their research showed higher current speeds and lower plastic concentrations in the center of Possession Sound and higher plastics concentrations near shore at the Mukilteo ferry terminal. Additional research seeks further confirmation of the influence of current speed and location on the distribution of plastics in Possession Sound. Surface collections were conducted at two public access docks on opposite sides of Possession Sound (Everett, WA and Langley, WA). Samples were collected using a 20 μm plankton net in spring, fall, and winter of 2013. Water samples will be analyzed for plastics through a chemical density separation in winter 2014. It is hypothesized that slower current speeds will correlate with higher plastic levels because the plastics are transferred through the area at a slower rate, therefore collecting in that location. Therefore the Langley sampling site should have the highest concentrations of microplastics due to its protected location in a cove.

Session Title

Session S-01A: Current Salish Sea Water Quality

Conference Track

Marine Water Quality

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Location

Room 6C

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

A Study on the Impact of Current Speed on Micro-plastic Concentration

Room 6C

The estuarine factors that influence density stratification (riverine input and tidal exchange) in Possession Sound, located in the northeast arm of the Whidbey Basin, also influence the distribution of anthropogenic plastics. Research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) demonstrated that plastics collect at the surface of the water column and in the sediments. Undergraduate researchers at the Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA), an early college program through Everett Community College, sampled the surface of the water column for microplastics in the spring of 2013. Their research showed higher current speeds and lower plastic concentrations in the center of Possession Sound and higher plastics concentrations near shore at the Mukilteo ferry terminal. Additional research seeks further confirmation of the influence of current speed and location on the distribution of plastics in Possession Sound. Surface collections were conducted at two public access docks on opposite sides of Possession Sound (Everett, WA and Langley, WA). Samples were collected using a 20 μm plankton net in spring, fall, and winter of 2013. Water samples will be analyzed for plastics through a chemical density separation in winter 2014. It is hypothesized that slower current speeds will correlate with higher plastic levels because the plastics are transferred through the area at a slower rate, therefore collecting in that location. Therefore the Langley sampling site should have the highest concentrations of microplastics due to its protected location in a cove.