Monitoring microplastics on WA beaches

Kambarang turned up the heat for AUSMAP’s Microplastics Training Day in Fremantle in October!

AUSMAP, the Australian Microplastic Assessment Project, is a collaborative citizen science project that uses a standardised method to assess and quantify microplastic pollution on our shorelines. To support the collection of microplastics data, AUSMAP trains leaders across the country using a their own microplastics surveying methodology.

AUSMAP Program Director Dr Michelle Blewitt and WA’s AUSMAP Regional Coordinator Claire O’Loughlin hosted the training day at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle for 36 stakeholders from a range of coastal, marine debris collection and waste education related backgrounds and community volunteers with a strong interest the prevention of microplastics. After the full day training, participants received accreditation for AUSMAP’s microplastics collection techniques including how to analysis of the samples and report the data back of the observations.

AUSMAP has held 55 training days across the nation since AUSMAP started in mid-2018.

“This was our fourth training day in the Perth Metro region over the last two years, and we had the largest number of new citizen scientists that we’ve had at a training event, all of whom brought a wealth of local knowledge and enthusiasm!” Michelle exclaimed during the event. 

Perth NRM Coastal and Marine Coordinator, and now AUSMAP accredited, Vanessa McGuiness said, “This training, supported by Perth NRM and Coastwest, has raised the capacity of our local Coastcare groups and volunteers, providing them with the opportunity to become citizen scientists. The microplastics data the volunteers collect from their patch of coastline will contribute to a national database, which aims to reduce the microplastics at the source.”

AUSMAP & Perth NRM is looking forwarded to working with these new organisations and individuals in WA and seeing the collection of data across the WA coastline, estuaries and rivers.

In collaboration with AUSMAP, Perth NRM supported Coastcare volunteer’s attendance to the event and catering through a Coastwest grant. This article was written by Vanessa McGuiness – Perth NRM Coastal & Marine Coordinator.

Would you like to be involved? Join AUSMAP here.