On Air: New York Sea Grant to Look at Ways to Reduce Pollution in Waterways
Marine Debris - News

Credit: Christy Tyler / New York Sea Grant

— Filed by Sabrina Garone for WSHU FM
Stony Brook, NY, May 16, 2023 - New York Sea Grant will look at ways to keep pollutants out of waterways throughout the state.

A total of $5.2 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will fund research activities to reduce land-based sources of marine debris in rivers and coastal waterways.

Kathy Bunting-Howarth is associate director of the grant. She said the quality of water upstate has a direct impact on Long Island waters.

“Water quality is very important to the Long Island environment and economy," Bunting-Howarth said. "And so, to the extent you can prevent microplastics from getting into the water upstream, you’re going to benefit the health of habitats and water quality at your shores.”

Marine debris includes trash like plastic bags and water bottles, but also micro-plastics that get into the water through storm runoff and using other personal care products.

"Even when you wash your clothes, little particles, little fibers will get dislodged during the washing and drying process, and get out into the environment," Bunting-Howarth said.

There are still a lot of unknowns about the impact of microplastics on the environment and human health.

Researchers will look at new technologies to filter them out, as well as trap litter and more.

Bunting-Howarth encourages residents to reduce their plastic use as much as possible.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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