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“Ocean Travelers” is a citizen science project where MINKE collaborates

By September 21, 2022No Comments

Ocean Travelers

Now that litter has been accumulating on the ocean surface, marine organisms have a new microhabitat to colonize that won’t degrade…

Growing on floating litter, these organisms can travel longer and farther in the ocean. Propelled by ocean currents, they can venture to new locations where they could colonize coastlines and potentially be invasive.

What we investigate?

  1. How much of the marine debris on beaches arrives from other places?
  2. How many and what kinds of animals are being carried on marine debris?
  3. How do the amount of debris and epibionts on beaches vary around the world?

What do we do?
Citizen Science – Students, teachers, other volunteers, and scientists collaborate to develop scientific knowledge about marine litter.

Research – We study the litter on the beaches and the organisms that travel on them.

From Science to Solution – Together we identify beaches that receive a lot of ocean travelers to then inform coastal managers.

In the project Ocean Travelers, researchers from multiple institutions and partner organisations (including MINKE) are investigating the interaction between marine life and marine litter. We highly value international collaboration, as well as engaging diverse participants, including scientists, university students and a wide range of volunteers (park rangers, beachcombers, school children, etc.). We aim to collect and evaluate data on marine litter that is colonized by organisms and have been stranded on beaches from around the world! Knowing which shores are most at-risk to species invasions on floating litter helps inform management and conservation strategies.

Get Involved!

Ready to be part of our project?

If you are interested to learn more about the Ocean Travelers, you can visit our webpage at https://serc.si.edu/citizen-science/projects/ocean-travelers or directly email us back for more information (oceantravelers.study@gmail.com)!

Minke