Technologies for Observing and Monitoring Plastics in the Oceans

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Background Material
Workshop Flyer
IEEE OES Initiative
2020 Cascais Workshop
2019 Brest Workshop
Oceans 2019 Town Hall

Plastics in the oceans pose a mounting existential threat to life in the oceans and on land, including human life, and technologies to observe, measure and monitor the flow of plastics into, and within, the oceans are urgently needed in support of mitigating the threat.

Note: The workshop will be moderated by the members of the Workshop Program Committee.


November 26, 2018

0830 - 0900:Registration and Remote Connection Tests
0900 - 1030:Session 0: Opening Session
0900 - 0915:René Garello: Welcome; Goals of the Workshop (presentation)
0915 - 0935:Hans-Peter Plag: Plastics: A rapidly growing global challenge for Earth's life-support system and humanity (abstract, presentation)
0935 - 0955:Christian Schmidt: Rivers and Plastics in the Oceans (abstract, presentation)
0955 - 1015:Shungudzemwoyo Garaba: Observing plastics in the oceans from orbit/space (abstract, presentation)
1015 - 1035:Jennifer Provencher: Plastic pollution ingestion by marine birds; what we have learned since the 1960s (presentation)
1035 - 1100:Coffee Break
1100 - 1230:Session 1: The Plastics Life Cycle
1100 - 1115:Christophe Maes: Global surface dispersion of marine debris under simple scenario (abstract, presentation)
1115 - 1130:Nils-Roar Hareide: Lost and discarded fishing gear - Technologies and practices for detection and retrieval (abstract, presentation)
1130 - 1145:Risa Sybrandy: Tracking Ghost Nets in the Pacific (abstract, presentation)
1145 - 1230:All:
  • What are the types of plastics and amounts that enter the ocean?
  • How are plastics distributed in space?
  • What are the residence times?
  • What size of plastics have the most impact and why?
  • Does the life cycle depend on the type of plastic?
  • Are plastics correlated with other marine debris?
  • What about plastics and sargasum?
  • What are the essential variables to characterize plastics in the oceans?
  • Which of those are accessible to observations?
1230 - 1400:Lunch Break
1400 - 1600:Session 2: Detecting and Quantifying Plastics in the Oceans
1400 - 1415:Nicolas Longepe: Tracking Marine Litter and plastic pollution in the Ocean with satellite tracking and a multi-year Drift Modeling. (abstract, presentation)
1415 - 1430:Yan Guichoux: Omni-Situ surface currents derived from ship motion (abstract, presentation)
1430 - 1445:Sergio Martinez: ODYSSEA: Data collection on water column (abstract, presentation)
1445 - 1600:All:
  • What technologies are there for observing plastics in the oceans?
  • What can be done from space?
  • Can drones and autonomous (sub)marine vehicles observe plastics?
  • What are the dominant signatures in different weather conditions?
  • How can micro and smaller plastic particles be detected reliably and economically/
  • What can be operational in the near term?
  • What spatial and temporal resolutions are needed for the essential variables to support quantification?
1600 - 1630:Coffee Break
1630 - 1800:Session 3: Improving Observations of Plastics in the Oceans
1630 - 1645:Sanae Chiba: Global Ocean Observation System (GOOS) perspective on marine plastics monitoring (abstract, presentation)
1645 - 1700:Anne Vallette, Manuel Arias, Stefano Alliani, Andres Cozar, Konstantinos Topouzelis, Shungu Garaba, Mark Hennen, Philippe Bryere, Francois-Regis Martin-Lauzer, Craig Jacobs, Antoine Mangin: ESA & Copernicus initiatives to face the Challenges of Marine Litter tracking (abstract, presentation)
1700 - 1715:Olivier Regniers, Aymeric Jouon: “I Clean My Sea” an integrated project to fight against the invasion of plastics in the oceans (abstract, presentation)
1715 - 1800:All:
  • What are promising new appplication of existing technologies such as SAR?
  • Are there insitu sensors that can address microplastics?
  • If plastics have a layer of water on them, what impact on observations does this have?proaches to observing plastics in the oceans?
  • How can uncertainty (or errors) be assigned to observations?
  • How important is real time data?
  • Are there insitu sensors that can address microplastics?
  • If plastics have a layer of water on them, what impact on observations does this have?

November 27, 2018

0900 - 1030:Session 4: Data and Knowledge Sharing in Support of Decision and Policy Making
0900 - 0915:Martin Kramp: Collecting ocean-atmosphere data (including microplastics) from Racing Yachts: Background and latest results (abstract, presentation)
0915 - 0930:Anne Rouault: INTERREG France Channel England: Cooperation and funding opportunities to tackle plastic pollution (abstract, presentation)
0930 - 0945:Rene Garello: Presentation of GEO - Group on Earth Observation (abstract, presentation)
0945 - 1000:Claude Garcia: Using Campanion modeling to address ocean plastics (tentative title; abstract, presentation)
1000 - 1030:All:
  • What knowlegde is needed?
  • How can it be created (data analyses, modeling), and who can create it?
  • What is needed in terms of data collection, data analyses and modeling (see previous sessions)?
  • Are services needed?
  • How can decision and policy makers be linked to knowledge about plastics in the oceans?
  • Could a participatory modeling effort bringing science, earth observations and policy makers together facilitate evidence-based policy making?
1030 - 1100:Coffee Break
1100 - 1230:Session 5: Road Map
1100 - 1230:All: The steps towards comprehensive observations and knowledge services for plastics in the oceans.
  • What state of oberservation, monitoring, and knowledge sharing do we want to reach by 2024?
  • What are the roads to get to this state?
  • What is the timing for each of the steps?
  • What is the feasibility of each step and the maturity of component parts (technology etc)?
  • Are there alternative roads and steps?
  • What does the road map look like?
1230 - 1400:Lunch Break
1400 - 1630:Session 6: Road Map 2: Towards a White Paper on Marine Litter Monitoring
1400 - 1415:Francoise Galgani: Marine Litter within MSFD (presentation)
1415 - 1630:All: Discussion of White Paper contents and collection of input for Road Map

This workshop was sponsored by: