Microplastics, plastics smaller than five millimeters, are a pervasive environmental issue that scientists worldwide are studying to understand how they impact waters and wildlife. Often, these plastics come from wastewater treatment plants, which are not presently equipped to filter such small plastics, but also form when larger pieces of plastic debris degrades.
In 2016, Hudson River Park began a four-year survey with Brooklyn College to research the concentration of microplastics in Sanctuary waters and to support regional efforts to understand this emerging threat. Findings from this survey were published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin in 2020 and the Park continues to support the study of microplastics through the Park’s Visiting Scientist Program.
We are excited to share that Hudson River Park’s microplastic research has been published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin, a peer-reviewed international science publication focused on marine resources and pollution, in December 2020. HRPK’s science team sampled and analyzed surface microplastics within the Park’s Estuarine Sanctuary as part of a 4-year survey which found an average of approximately 200,000 plastic particles per square kilometer, which is a comparable concentration to other local studies. For the full, peer-reviewed research paper containing additional information, please visit Science Direct here or download the PDF.