The BCL has been awarded a 2021 Community Volunteer Action Grant by the Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning. This funding will support a citizen science program all about microplastics and their role in coastal wetlands.
Plastic pollution is a pervasive and growing planetary threat affecting nearly every global marine and freshwater ecosystem, estimate to cause ~$20 billion/year in economic damage to marine ecosystems.
Our project aims to develop a citizen science program to assess volunteer, community, and corporate groups’ perceptions about plastic pollution and its impact on the environment. The work will ultimately strengthen the capacity of existing volunteers, create opportunities for under-represented groups, and support them to be citizen scientists on smart plastic practices.
This project will contribute to existing environmental plans in Victoria, including Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037 and Victorians Volunteering for Nature – Environmental Volunteering Plan. The project will raise awareness about the importance of the state’s natural environment and how plastic can impact it. Through workshops, informational session, public-corporate interactions, and citizen science activities, we will help to create citizen scientists with the knowledge and skills to remove plastic and microplastics from the environment, as well as the ability to teach others about safe plastic disposal. These initiatives can ultimately help Victorians to protect wildlife from being harmed by plastic waste and create pristine terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.
Keep an eye out on Blue Carbon Lab social media pages for the announcement of dates for the citizen science workshops if you are keen to get involved and get muddy!