This week, the SEA Plastics Lab launched a new website intended to be a valuable resource for those interested in learning more about ocean plastic pollution and how to contribute to solutions to this serious environmental issue.
The SEA Plastics Lab is dedicated to investigating and ultimately preventing ocean plastic pollution through collaborative scientific research and broad knowledge sharing. The lab is grounded in undergraduate student research carried out aboard SEA’s sailing research vessels since the early 1980s.
The new Plastics Lab website chronicles the history of ocean plastic pollution, as well as the history of SEA’s research on plastics. The site includes updates on research conducted by SEA students, research methods employed, videos from recent research cruises, and links to published articles by SEA scientists.
The site also offers curriculum resources for teachers, advice for those interested in reducing single-use plastics in their communities, and an online quiz to test your knowledge of ocean plastic debris.
In addition, the site will soon include a data portal where students, scientists and policy makers may access plastic pollution data collected during more than 30 years of SEA sampling the open ocean.
“The issue of plastic pollution in the ocean, and in the environment more broadly, has become of increasing concern especially over the past five to ten years. At SEA, we have a long history of measuring ocean plastics and engaging in scientific research about their origin, distribution and fate, and we have a passion for sharing this knowledge with the world, including the scientific community, policy- and other decision-makers, as well as passionate citizens, especially young people. We saw a Plastics Lab website as not only a useful means of communication, but a necessary one,” said Dr. Kara Lavender Law, SEA Research Professor of Oceanography.
The new website was made possible by March Marine Initiative, which provided funding to the Plastics Lab to support plastic pollution communication and outreach efforts. This support allowed the lab to recruit three summer interns who built the site and coordinated a social media campaign. The interns were Chloe Beittel, Duke University; Ava De Leon, University of Miami; and Isabelle Stewart, Gettysburg College. Their efforts were supported by Dr. Law; Jessica Donohue, SEA Research Associate; and Erin Sheehan, SEA Website and Digital Marketing Coordinator.
“When we advertised for the internships, we had in mind that we wanted people with not only a strong science background, but also with background, experience and interests in a variety of forms of science communication. We were so fortunate to have three talented interns join us who were interested in building a website that is so much richer in content and more beautiful in design than we could have imagined, or created, on our own,” said Dr. Law.
“We hope that the website becomes a go-to resource for anyone interested in ocean plastics, plastic pollution, and solutions to the plastic waste crisis. The knowledge that we attain, and create, as scientists is only useful if it is accessible to all interested members of our many varied communities,’ she added.
Visit SEA Plastics Lab
Contact: Douglas Karlson, Director of Communications | 508-444-1918 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.sea.edu