Pollution of the earth is a major limiting factor to the abundance of life on earth. Pollution of all kinds can kill wildlife, causes habitat degradation or destruction, create navigational hazards, and even destroy economies and human health (https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/MD_Tracker_App_Flyer_FINAL.pdf). These effects, though, are most evident in marine environments. The dumping of waste, especially plastics, causes severe stress to the world’s oceans, rivers, lakes, and ponds. While scientist cannot know the exact extent that pollution is affecting the environment, one way in which scientists can go about determining the pollution of a region is Citizen Science, as Dickerson put it, “Citizen science engages non-professionals in authentic scientific research. (Dickerson, Shirk…). The Citizen Science program specifically for determining the amount of marine debris in our coastal environments is called just that, Marine Debris.
The purpose of this Citizen Science program, run primarily through the NOAA Marine Debris program and the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative, is to locate and identify all types of marine debris in the coastal communities by using the Marine Debris Tracker app (https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/partnerships/marine-debris-tracker). In identifying the debris, it is the purpose of the program to remove the debris from the habitat, in turn, following the mission of the Marine Debris program, “investigate and prevent the adverse impacts of marine debris” (https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/about-us). The branch that is now being deployed is one that focuses more on the identifying of the debris so that it may be logged what has been removed from t...
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...t been moved yet, which would mean their impact to the majority of the marine environment was limited, but still pose a threat to those marine animals that use the sand dunes for reproduction.
The citizen science project, Marine Debris, brought focus to the amount of debris found in marine environments, specifically beaches. Most what discovered in the process of the citizen science project was plastics which helps to highlight the growing problem of plastic in marine environments and the present danger that these plastics specifically hold to not just marine animals, but also their human counterparts. Furthermore, no matter the type of debris humans should take more care about dumping their debris into any environments as the impacts this debris has on the environments is much greater than what a person thinks when they casually litter their environment.
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