Microplastics are small plastic particles measuring less than 5mm in diameter that come from a variety of sources such as poly fiber in clothing, microbeads in cosmetic items, and plastic debris. Plastics do not decompose, rather they break down over time into microscopic pieces that can be ingested and accumulated into the tissues of organisms.

Marine Discovery Center teamed up with Sea Grant to explore the detrimental effects of microplastics on the environment as well as their origins. By collecting water samples from local water bodies, volunteers are able to determine the number and type of microplastics in our estuaries and assist with a larger data collection effort across the state of florida.

To learn more about the Florida Microplastics Awareness Project and to sign the pledge to say “no” to single use plastics please visit http://stjohns.ifas.ufl.edu/sea/microplastics/index.html

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