Marine debris that takes the form of plastics—whether a water bottle tossed off a boat, abandoned fishing line, or microbeads/microplastics from soap or laundry—impacts the ecosystem in large and small ways. Sea Grant programs around the Gulf address the issue through a variety of approaches.
Litter prevention and removal resources
This page contains links to state-based and multi-state resources, focusing on the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Gulf-wide citizen science microplastics sampling map
In this Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium-funded project, citizen scientists collected and counted microplastics in sediment and water samples across the US Gulf coast. To view the interactive map, click here.
Texas monofilament recovery and recycling
Monofilament, more commonly known as fishing line, can be harmful to marine wildlife if not retrieved. To learn more about this Texas Sea Grant program, click here. Follow them on Facebook here.
Marine Microplastics Research Discoveries over Time (updated Aug. 2023)
Students will use the Marine Microplastics Concentration Map to observe the changes in microplastic research over time.
Distribution of Microplastic Concentrations (updated Aug. 2023)
Students will use the Marine Microplastics Concentration Map to observe how proximity to the coast affects marine microplastic concentrations and hypothesize potential reasons for this distribution.
Differences in Microplastic Sampling Techniques (updated Aug. 2023)
Students will use the Marine Microplastics Concentration Map to observe two similar sampling transects and hypothesize reasons for the differences in the concentrations found on each.
Featured photo: Microplastics photographed in the studio for a Florida Trend feature on Friday, July 21st, 2017. (Florida Sea Grant)