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Lagoon Drift Increases Community Engagement In Citizen Science And Regional Study Of Marine Debris

Lagoon Drift Increases Community Engagement in Citizen Science and Regional Study of Marine Debris

Palm Beach County, Florida (February 9, 2020) – On November 2nd, 2019, ANGARI Foundation and their partners executed the fifth experiment in the Lake Worth Lagoon Drift Card Study, otherwise known as Lagoon Drift. This citizen science project engages the Palm Beach County community in the study of how marine debris is transported and distributed around our region. For this experiment, 40 small eco-friendly wooden drift cards were simultaneously released from six sites around the Lake Worth Lagoon and Intracoastal Waterway. The cards floated on the water’s surface and were carried by currents and tides before washing ashore where they were found and reported to us, following instructions stamped on the card, by members of the public. Compared to similar drift card studies, Lagoon Drift continues to have above average drift card recovery rates. The November 2019 experiment was no exception, with 58 (24%) of the 240 cards deployed having been reported. Of the 58 cards reported, 27 (47%) were recovered on Atlantic beaches outside of the Lake Worth Lagoon, Intracoastal Waterway and Loxahatchee River.

Like other citizen science experiments, Lagoon Drift not only enhances our knowledge of water and debris movement in our area, but also helps to raise awareness and encourage the community to get involved in preventing and combatting marine pollution. Working with local partners, ANGARI Foundation actively engaged more than 300 community members in the November experiment and dialogue about marine debris. November 2019 participating Lagoon Drift partners include Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, Friends of Palm Beach, Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, LagoonFest, the Lake Worth Lagoon Initiative, Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center®, Norman Gitzen Gallery, Quest Workspaces, the River Center, Surface 71 and Wellington Landings Middle School’s Marine Conservation Club.

The November experiment also involved a pilot of an Indian River Lagoon Drift program coordinated and executed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) – Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves and their partners. This pilot extended the Lagoon Drift study range from Palm Beach County, north into Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Brevard Counties. The detailed after-action report for the November 2019 Lagoon Drift experiment is now available.

participants decorated and deployed drift cards for the Lagoon Drift marine debris citizen science experiment

About ANGARI Foundation

ANGARI Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private operating foundation established in 2016 and headquartered in West Palm Beach, FL. The Foundation is dedicated to creating a global community that is interested, knowledgeable, and invested in marine and environmental sciences by directly supporting research initiatives that foster a greater trust and dialogue between scientists and the public. ANGARI Foundation uses innovative technology, film, and other media to raise awareness and strengthen science education. Many of the Foundation’s primary initiatives involve R/V ANGARI, a 65-foot vessel that serves as an exceptional research and education platform. For more information visit www.angari.org. For media inquiries, please contact media@angari.org.

Read articles on this experiment published in the Town Crier and Coastal Star.

 

ANGARI Media

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