WHAT IS THE LAKE WORTH LAGOON DRIFT CARD STUDY (AKA: LAGOON DRIFT)?
In 2016 Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami found themselves facing a growing marine debris problem along their shoreline and approached the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE) at the University of Miami in an effort to better understand its origins.
The CARTHE science team put their heads together and the Biscayne Bay Drift Card Study, AKA Bay Drift, was born. Bay Drift is a citizen science driven program that uses a series of coordinated releases of biodegradable small wooden drift cards and GPS-equipped drifters to study the motion of waters in and around Biscayne Bay. The program relies on the active participation of Miami area schools and partners and continues to grow with each deployment.
With the support of CARTHE, ANGARI Foundation is facilitating the extension of the Miami-based Bay Drift program to Palm Beach County. As we will focus our efforts around the Lake Worth Lagoon, the name Lagoon Drift has been adopted, but the premise remains the same: Solicit the help of local citizen scientists in creating, deploying, and collecting drift cards to get a better understanding of how marine debris is distributed around the lagoon. ANGARI Foundation and Palm Beach County partners also use this project as a tool to engage the community in the conversation about human impacts on the environment and marine debris in our oceans and waterways.
How It Works
- Drift cards (40 from each locality) are simultaneously released from sites around Lake Worth Lagoon.
- Drift cards float on the water surface and are carried by local currents.
- Citizen scientists (this could be you!) recover the drift cards and report their findings to ANGARI Foundation.
- We gain new insights into the way marine debris moves in and around Lake Worth Lagoon.
DRIFT CARD FACTS
The drift cards were designed by the CARTHE research team to enable the study of localized ocean currents without negatively impacting the marine environment. Each eco-friendly card is:
- Roughly 4” x 6” and cut from untreated 3/16” plywood.
- Painted with non-toxic, zero-VOC paint in bright colors to make them easier to spot.
- Stamped and decorated with non-toxic ink and markers.
- Designed to float on the surface and be carried by currents, but small enough to avoid posing a threat to waterway navigation.
- Intended to water-log, sink and begin to biodegrade after 2 weeks and should not have any ill effects on the marine environment.
WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
- Contact ANGARI Foundation or one of our project partners to learn more about the project.
- Take to the water in the weeks that follow the Lagoon Drift card release. If you find a drift card, please follow the directions on the back of the card and report all requested info back to us.
- Make a commitment to combat marine debris by picking up and properly disposing of any debris you see around town, at the shore or out on the water!
If you have any questions or would like to get involved, please email Dr. Amanda Waite, Director of Science Education and Advancement at ANGARI Foundation.