Second International Research Workshop Microplastic Marine Debris
November 5-6, 2010; Tacoma, WA
The field of microplastic marine debris has been growing in the last five years, in part due to the first International Research Workshop on Microplastic Marine Debris that was jointly coordinated by the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) and the University of Washington Tacoma (UW Tacoma) in September 2008.
Media around this issue has increased, as have accounts of a potentially alarmist nature of the threat microplastics pose to the marine environment and human health. This media attention has been coupled with an increase in sessions at prominent scientific meetings that focus on plastic debris.
Interested parties, including researchers, resource managers, and the public, look to the NOAA MDP for current and accurate information on marine debris issues and for best practices based on current research. UW Tacoma is able to support NOAA in providing this information through its own research and expertise. Increased media attention and new research in the field of microplastics provided initiative to hold a second workshop in order to further this field of research and frame the risk of microplastics to the marine environment. Microplastics have the potential to persist in the environment, travel long distances, attract organic contaminants, and serve as substrate for organisms, thereby facilitating invasive species transport. Thus, there is cause for a thorough approach to determining the risk microplastics pose to the environment.
Bring together leaders in the field of microplastic debris to further network and build partnerships.
Update the state of the science and any progress made on key issues since the first NOAA-UW Tacoma international microplastics workshop in September 2008.
Discuss needs for a risk assessment for microplastic marine debris.
Develop a list of potential actions to direct future efforts in this field.
Participants during the 2010 workshop. Credit: NOAA Marine Debris Program.
Download the workshop proceedings. (1.89mb).