Plastic Pollution in Barnegat Bay: Adverse Effects on Wildlife

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EcoTopic / Project Category
Water, Consumption & Waste, Habitat & Wildlife
Project Goal Summary
  1. Microplastics found in Barnegat Bay

    1. How much is found within the bay?

    2. How does this affect the organisms?

    3. Are some more affected than others?

    4. What about the fish people consume?

    5. Does seasons affect the amounts?

    6. Do recreational activities affect it?

More Project Information: As someone who has family who lives alongside Barnegat Bay it has always intrigued me to look at the “health” of the bay. Over the years, I feel I have seen it all within the bay. I understand the general ins and outs of the bay and have some ideas what goes along within it. I am interested in the health of species that reside within the bay and if plastic matter found in the bay affects them. I am also interested in the amounts of plastic, possibilities on how it gets there, and what are the factors involved with it. The rough timeline for this project would first be reviewing water sample data collected at how many plastic particles were found within the bay over the course of a year or more. Using this data I can make assumptions such as when recreational activities are at their height is there more plastic? Furthermore, I will have to find data and review the plastic matter that different organisms are consuming. Has there been a population change? Are we seeing animals in higher trophic levels with more plastic? Lastly, using peer reviewed articles I want to compare my project to others. I also want to use information from articles to possibly understand further possible long term effects of plastic on bay life. 

Project Location
Barnegat Bay
United States
Project Goals and News
I worked on this project in conjunction with two professors Dr Migliano and Bickford as my capstone study during my final two semesters at Unity College. I also worked with the Plastic Wave Project based in Highlands

The Plastic Wave Project is a small non profit organization that focuses on educating the public. Their main topic is about the harmful effects of plastic pollution. They work with educational facilities, other non profits, and communities and perform outreach.

If I could describe this project in under three sentences I would say 

The focus of my capstone project is to analyze the concentration of plastic material found in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey as well as search for patterns. I will create a synthesis of research articles that focus on the effects microplastics have on bay organisms. With this information I hope to conclude if there is a need to promote further research and need to clean the bay. 

Tag Your Project
Wildlife, Microplastics, Bay
File #1
Final ReportFinal ReportPlastic Pollution in Barnegat Bay: Adverse Effects on Wildlife1146 KB
File #2
Infographic 1Infographic 1Part 1 of 4406 KB
File #3
Infographic 2Infographic 2Part 2 of 4643 KB
File #4
Infographic 3Infographic 3Part 3 of 4452 KB
File #5
Infographic 4Infographic 4Part 4 of 4365 KB

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Date Added: Oct 2, 2022
Date Last Modified: Oct 2, 2022

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