Plastic pollution is today one of the great environmental problems in marine and river aquatic ecosystems.
Surfing for Science is a project funded since 2020 by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) and the Barcelona City Council, and led by the University of Barcelona and Surfrider Foundation Europe. This project is a pioneer in the field of marine pollution research as it aims to assess the extent of contamination by microplastics in the coastal zone through a citizen science initiative.
Scientific samples of microplastics are obtained with a temporal and spatial resolution with the collaboration of volunteers who drag a microplastics sampling net by boat. The samples are sent to the laboratory of the Department of Dynamics of Terra i de l’Oceà of the University of Barcelona, where they are processed and analyzed for their quantification (abundances) and their characterization (size, shape, origin, composition). The Surfing for Science project currently has the invaluable collaboration of 14 entities throughout the Catalan coast, including Oceanogami and Anèl·lides (partner).