Quantification of Microplastics on National Park Beaches
This report details the results from a project funded by the NOAA Marine Debris Program and led by the National Park Service and Clemson University, in which beach sediments were collected and analyzed to assess the abundance and distribution of microplastics and microfibers on U.S. National Park beaches. Thirty-seven National Park beaches, representing 35 National Parks, Monuments, Seashores, and Recreation areas were sampled for microplastics and microfibers. Scientists found microplastics or microfibers in sand samples collected from all 37 beaches. Microfibers were the predominant type of debris found (97% by count). Individual beaches in the Great Lakes and Pacific Islands had the highest concentrations of microplastics and microfibers. Microplastics and microfibers were even found in remote areas of Alaska.
Note that this was a ‘snapshot’ study-- results were based on one sampling point in time.