American Society of Civil Engineers


Marine Debris Monitoring and Data Collection Activities Conducted By the Ocean Conservancy


by Charles G. Barr, (Program Manager, National Marine Debris Monitoring Program, The Ocean Conservancy, 1432 N. Great Neck Rd., Suite 103, Virginia Beach, VA 23454 E-mail: cbarr@oceanconservancyva.org) and Seba B. Sheavly, (Director, Office of Pollution Prevention and Monitoring, The Ocean Conservancy, 1432 N. Great Neck Rd., Suite 103, Virginia Beach, VA 23454 E-mail: ssheavly@oceanconservancyva.org)

pp. 914-927, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/40761(175)80)

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: California and the World Ocean ’02: Revisiting and Revising California’s Ocean Agenda
Abstract: Since mankind set-sail upon the open oceans hundreds of years ago, the oceans have been a dumping ground for human generated trash and debris. Just as waste generated on land has been deposited into managed landfills, wastes generated at sea were simply discharged overboard. Prior to the 1960’s, ocean-dumped materials provoked little concern as an environmental issue due to the fact that the majority of these materials were composed of natural fibers and other components that easily decayed and degraded. Since the 1950’s however, the nature of the trash and debris began to take on a new character with the development of plastics. Over the last 50 years, society has embraced the benefits and applications of plastic materials. It’s, strength, durability, light weight, versatility, ease of production and handling, and lower costs, were quickly utilized by industry for manufacturing and packaging, making plastic preferable over other materials.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Debris
Monitoring
Data collection
Water pollution
Ocean water