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5 September 2016 1 min read

Denise Hardesty talking to volunteers conducting marine debris surveys on beach.

CSIRO’s Marine Debris Team were awarded one of this year’s science Oscars, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Eureka Prize for Environmental Science, announced at the Australian Museum at the end of August.

The Marine Debris Team has been on a mission to help save Australia’s wildlife from an ocean and coastal pollution pandemic.

By seaplane, foot, 4WD and boat, they collected data from hundreds of sites on land and at sea across the nation. Their world-leading research found that more than half of sea bird species across the globe have eaten plastic.

The team’s research is now being used to inform policy and consumer choices, both here in Australia and across the globe.

Ongoing work includes:

  • Projects with NOAA (the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the Ocean Conservancy looking at coastal debris internationally;
  • Work to model and monitor microplastics movement in the ocean, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme; and
  • A project looking at debris flows into the environment and policy responses and effectiveness funded by the Australian Packaging Covenant.

Read more from the latest paper on the sources, distribution and fate of marine debris, in The Conversation and earlier in ECOS.

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