Project properties

Title Quantifying riverine plastic emission into the ocean using citizen science
Group Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) Tim van Emmerik
Examiner(s) Tim van Emmerik
Contact info tim.vanemmerik@wur.nl
Begin date 2019/09/01
End date
Description Plastic pollution in aquatic environments is one of today’s most urgent environmental challenges. Rivers are a main source of marine plastic pollution, but unfortunately accurate data on riverine plastic transport is scarce. Observations of riverine plastic transport are crucial to identify sources and sinks of plastic waste, and to optimize prevention and collection strategies. Recently, the citizen science app CrowdWater has been extended with a module that allows for measurements of mobile floating plastic and accumulated plastic on riverbanks. The city of Leiden wants to use this app to quantify the amount of plastic waste in the city’s canals, and estimate the annual outflow into the ocean. In this study, you will work on (1) coordinate long-term data collection using the CrowdWater app, (2) analyze the quantity and composition of the plastic and its relation to driving forces (rainfall, wind, discharge) and (3) predict how much plastic flows into the ocean annually. This project is in collaboration with Leiden University, the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and the City of Leiden.
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