Microplastic pollution is a growing problem that affects beaches, aquatic life, and people's health. This narrated video, produced by the Science On a Sphere Program and NESDIS VizLab in collaboration with the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), discusses the following topics:
What are microplastics?
Where do microplastics come from?
Why is it a problem?
The video emphasizes that microplastics have been a growing problem in the marine environment for decades and humans are only recently starting to pay attention. It also discusses how microplastics reach our ocean and the impacts it has on marine ecosystems.
The video highlights the work of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) with Mississippi State University through their cooperative Institute, the Northern Gulf Institute, to collect and share information about microplastics around the world. This growing database is publicly offered through an ArcGIS web portal. The video uses screen captures of this portal to demonstrate the increase in surface microplastic observations over the past 50+ years.
Finally the video concludes with the clear message: everyone can help. By making simple but powerful choices such as refusing, reducing, reusing, and recycling, we can make a huge difference in the amount of microplastic that enters our ocean. We can also take actions to reduce the plastic debris that already pollutes our waterways by participating in community cleanups. By understanding the power of our actions, and the science of marine microplastic, we can make a difference in our ocean's future.