Presentation Abstract

How much trash is carried from inland areas to the ocean? Where does hazardous solid waste accumulate once it has escaped into the environment? What are the most effective upstream interventions for waste reduction and the prevention of aquatic debris? These questions cannot be answered without reliable trash metrics. ORISE Research Participant Sydney Harris has worked with a national team of EPA staff to develop a standardized trash assessment protocol built upon existing methods including California’s Urban Rapid Trash Assessment, NOAA’s Shoreline Monitoring program, and others. This new tool will, for the first time, enable trash assessment in any environment (from city streets to riverbanks to outer coasts) as well as direct comparison of results between dissimilar sites. This draft EPA trash assessment method is intended for use by community volunteer scientists, is appropriate for all items larger than 5 mm, and is designed to produce replicable, rigorous data that can inform both upstream pollution prevention and water quality assessments among many other potential uses. This presentation outlines the draft methodology as well as the results of recent pilot testing in freshwater environments. Pilot tests are occurring in Washington State in partnership with Zero Waste Washington and community science groups. This project was supported in part by an appointment to the Internship/Research Participation Program at the Region 10 Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy and EPA.

Session Title

Plastic Pollution and Marine Debris in the Salish Sea: Monitoring, Education, and Management and Policy Solutions

Keywords

Trash, Marine debris, Plastics

Conference Track

SSE13: Plastics

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE13-294

Start Date

5-4-2018 2:00 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 2:15 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

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

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

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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Apr 5th, 2:00 PM Apr 5th, 2:15 PM

Toward a standard trash assessment method

How much trash is carried from inland areas to the ocean? Where does hazardous solid waste accumulate once it has escaped into the environment? What are the most effective upstream interventions for waste reduction and the prevention of aquatic debris? These questions cannot be answered without reliable trash metrics. ORISE Research Participant Sydney Harris has worked with a national team of EPA staff to develop a standardized trash assessment protocol built upon existing methods including California’s Urban Rapid Trash Assessment, NOAA’s Shoreline Monitoring program, and others. This new tool will, for the first time, enable trash assessment in any environment (from city streets to riverbanks to outer coasts) as well as direct comparison of results between dissimilar sites. This draft EPA trash assessment method is intended for use by community volunteer scientists, is appropriate for all items larger than 5 mm, and is designed to produce replicable, rigorous data that can inform both upstream pollution prevention and water quality assessments among many other potential uses. This presentation outlines the draft methodology as well as the results of recent pilot testing in freshwater environments. Pilot tests are occurring in Washington State in partnership with Zero Waste Washington and community science groups. This project was supported in part by an appointment to the Internship/Research Participation Program at the Region 10 Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy and EPA.