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MICROPLASTICS & MICRODEBRIS

 

MICROPLASTIC PRESENCE AND CIRCULATION IN GALVESTON, CORPUS CHRISTI, AND MATAGORDA BAYS

Overview: This study will improve baseline data on microplastic concentrations in the Galveston, Corpus Christi, and Matagorda Bays to develop transport models that will inform U.S. Army Corps of Engineer dredging operations in these systems. Additionally, microplastic sample processing and throughput will be improved by the development of a portable, open-source Raman spectrometer. This new instrument will cost a fraction of commercially available systems and be freely shared to enhance access to analytical tools for researchers globally, especially in regions where resources are limited but plastic pollution is rampant.

Status: Just starting​

Project Lead: Kiersten Ivy, CMSS Ph.D. Student

Funding: US Coastal Research Program

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PLASTIC & MERCURY IN SEDIMENT, WATER AND FISH OF LAVACA, MATAGORDA & SAN ANTONIO BAY, TEXAS

Overview: Stay tuned

Status: In Progress

Project Lead: Oluniyi Fadare, Ph.D.

Funding: Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust 

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PLASTIC AND MERCURY IN LAVACA BAY

Status: Field Work Complete, Data Acquisition


Project Lead: Jessica Myers, CMSS Master's Student


Funding: TAMUCC Research & Innovation Office

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MICROPLASTICS IN WASTEWATER AND CORPUS CHRISTI BAY SEDIMENT

Status: Complete, Report Submitted

Project Lead: Kieu Tran, ESCI M.S. Alumni

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MICROPLASTICS IN THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Overview: This project ended in 2019 and was generously funded by the NOAA Marine Debris Program. Data processing is ongoing to verify and validate results of the FTIR analysis. Base on the preliminary results it is clear that fully and semi-synthetic microplastics in the Mississippi River and their discharge into the Gulf of Mexico numbers in the trillions each day. The largest contributors to fully synthetic (polyethylene terephthalate) and semi-synthetic (a cotton blend) materials discharge 10-30 and 95-280 kg daily into the Gulf of Mexico. While the data still need refining, the samples collected during the lower river stage may have higher concentrations of fully and semi-synthetic microplastics.  Therefore, we will be further exploring options for presenting the data generated on semi-synthetic µDebris.

Status: Completed, Data Validation Ongoing, Manuscript Writing 

Project Lead: Katherine Martin, CMSS M.S. Lab Alumni


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MICROPLASTICS IN COASTAL TEXAS

Overview: This work, sponsored by the Texas General Land Office's Coastal Management Program, seeks to quantify the loading of microplastics from rivers and bays to coastal Texas. 


Status: Completed. Publication Writing in Progress


Project Lead: Matt Watford, ESCI M.S. Alumni

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REMOTE SENSING OF BEACHED PLASTIC DEBRIS USING AI

Status: Finished, Thesis Published, Looking for funding to continue research. 

Project Lead: Kieu Tran, ESCI M.S. Lab Alumni

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MICROPLASTIC CONTAMINATION IN CORPUS CHRISTI BAY BLUE CRABS, CALLINECTES SAPIDUS

Overview: Plastic materials have been observed in marine and coastal ecosystems around the world and while their full effects are not completely understood, they negatively impact a variety of organisms. Invertebrates have been observed with plastic in their guts, but it is unknown if blue crabs, which are an important U.S. commercial and recreational fishery, consume these materials. This article reinforces the importance of quality control, proper methodology, and material confirmation in microplastic studies and provides evidence that blue crabs in Corpus Christi Bay, TX ingest microplastic fibers and particles.

Status: Finished and Published in Limnology & Oceanography Letters.

Project Lead: Eli Waddel, Lab Alumni

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