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Dee Why Lagoon will be the latest location to be surveyed by the Australian Microplastic Assessment Project (AUSMAP) to understand the impacts of litter and plastic pollution on the marine environment of the area.
AUSMAP is a national citizen science project, managed by the Total Environment Centre, which undertakes mapping of plastic pollution hotspots around Australia. Earlier studies, including surveys by the Coastal Environment Centre and local high school students, identified Dee Why Lagoon as a major microplastic hotspot around NSW.
The new collaborative study will be undertaken by AUSMAP, Surfrider Foundation Australia, Macquarie University and Northern Beaches Council, and has been funded through a grant from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
It will include tracking the source of macro and micro litter by netting stormwater outlets that drain into the lagoon, which will measure how much debris is making its way via the drains, and pinpoint potential locations of where it’s coming from.
The data gathered is directed to governments, regulators and the community to inform a coordinated response to alleviate the plastic pollution load in the area and develop better waste management systems.
Council’s involvement in the project is an initiative of the Swap for Good program, which fosters a network of local businesses committed to moving away from using single-use plastics. There are already more than 100 local food and beverage businesses signed up to our Swap for Good business program.