Plastic pollution in the world's oceans can be thought of as the world’s largest continuous oil spill, only in solid form.
Plastic particle pollution (P3) in our oceans is receiving escalating attention. Concerns over the impact of P3 on human health and the environment, including impacts on marine food supply and security, are an emerging national and international priority.
This innovative project includes design and deployment of a microplastics particulate screening sensor to identify and measure the density and quantity of P3 in the water column beneath the water's surface.. Measurements will inform the exposure of P3 to marine life, shedding light on the extent of P3 as a food web contaminant.
We will develop a first-of-its kind system that tracks plastic pollution from source to sink. The system will provide real-time information on the flow of plastic waste into the environment and track the efficacy of cleanup efforts downstream.
Our approach will integrate remote, overhead visual sensing for gross movement of solid waste to provide a downstream view of plastic waste. Public display of this information will also generate greater regional awareness, accountability, and action on the problem, analogous to the effectiveness of the campaign for openly available clean air quality data https://waqi.info/
The Plastic Particle Pollution Index (PPPIndex.info) will inform the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) National Aquatic Resource Surveys of plastics contamination and track the “plastic smog” quality of the ocean in much the same way that Air Quality Indexes are used to determine non-attainment areas beset by smog problems.
Baseline measurements and changes of the PPPI will be correlated to influx events from on-land contributions, both man-made and natural. Measurements will be available in real-time at "pppindex.info", enabling efficacy monitoring for mitigation efforts and appropriate direction of resources toward effective interventions.
EPA Region 9 and Draper have embarked upon a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to complete this project together.
EPA scientists' years of P3 reconnaissance and deployment experience and its structured, rigorous data interpretability and usability approaches combine with Draper’s decades of experience in precision instrumentation and complex system design and deployment.
Draper is a not-for-profit R&D company providing innovative solutions addressing extremely challenging engineering problems, with an expertise in systems to monitor and detect infinitesimal quantities of often hard-to-detect targets.
For more information go to "PPPindex.info"....
To contribute to the Managing Ocean Plastic Pollution to Zero project, please contact
1) Dr. Sheila Hemami, Draper Director of Strategic Opportunities at email@example.com ,
2) Bill Robberson, P.E., Ocean P3 Systems Principal Engineer at Bill@oceanP3systems.com