Standardizing the Standard, the UN joins the fight.

The UN/IOC hopes to bring about a set of standardized procedures and methods of studying oceanic pollution on beaches. While many may sigh and wonder about the money spend on writing this 131 mammoth, their aim is incredibly important.

 

http://www.oceangybe.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=193&Itemid=9

Standardizing the Standard, the UN joins the fight.

by Bryson

Recently, the OceanGybe crew was forwarded a series of e-mails by incredibly dedicated Fabiano Barretto of Global Garbage. OceanGybe started working with the Global Garbage team while we were in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil, evaluating the evidence of African refuse on the Brazilian coastline. Global Garbage is group of incredible devoted and driven individuals who maintain www.globalgarbage.org, a website whose objective is bring the actions, initiatives, activities and projects of the Global Garbage Team out to the greater public and also help to bring more awareness to the global phenomenon of the marine trash.  On their website is a virtual plethora of publically available content on marine trash. Take the time to take a look.

Photograph by OceanGybe: A Global Research & Outreach Expedition to Protect the World's Oceans.

Photograph by OceanGybe: A Global Research & Outreach Expedition to Protect the World's Oceans.

Fabiano informed us that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) had just released a series of studies involving the survey and monitoring of oceanic pollution. The UN/IOC hopes to bring about a set of standardized procedures and methods of studying oceanic pollution on beaches. While many may sigh and wonder about the money spend on writing this 131 mammoth, their aim is incredibly important.

While there is no doubt about the exponential growth of plastic refuse on our oceans and on our beaches, it has become incredible difficult for scientists to standardize the global data set from beach studies worldwide. Some groups check a meter-wide swath and extrapolate for the whole beach, others only pick up items larger than 20cms, and others collect a 1ft square of sand and isolate every plastic particle down to < 1mm range. While all of these studies are incredible relevant and necessary, a standardized basic beach study will allow researchers to get a truly accurate global picture of oceanic garbage.

As a result, OceanGybe will now be using the UN/IOC sanctioned “Beach Litter Assessment” for all garbage studies. We have also added it to our “Learn More” tab on www.oceangybe.com so anyone organizing/completing a beach study, can download it and use it from this point on. Interestingly, the UN/IOC structured assessment follows an almost identical procedure to our old “OceanGybe Garbage Studies”. I wonder where they got the idea from? hmmm….

Now back to wading through the 131 page document and the accompanying about 600 pages of supplementary information. To download the “Beach Litter Assessment”  document, click here . For all supporting documentation, you can find it all here.

As a side note: The Atlantic Hurricane Season has been very quiet this year; so far we have had Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika and Fred. 5 Storms? September, which is normally the most active month of the year, saw only 2 storms. This is the lowest September average since 1994, and the sixth lowest on record. Maybe the effect of an El Nino year or maybe it is just waiting for October to ramp up ? Who knows, but this is just another example of how global weather is just a mixture of pattern and chaos. If anyone is interesting keeping tabs on Hurricanes this season, check out: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/index.shtml



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