Chichester Harbour Environmental Studies


Microplastics research in Chichester

Concern about the accumulation of marine debris has increased in recent years and numerous surveys worldwide have been carried out. However, the majority of marine litter studies have been focused upon larger debris, easily identifiable by the naked eye.

In contrast, the presence of microplastic – debris under 5mm- in the aquatic environment has been largely overlooked and the research on the potential impacts of microplastics on wildlife is in its infancy. Microplastic pollution has now been recognised by the UN Environmental Program as an emerging environmental issue of global scale.

Research at Chichester Harbour, in collaboration with local authorities and users of the harbour is bringing new understanding of the problem of microplastics and the possible solutions.

About Chichester Harbour

Chichester Harbour is one of the largest recreational harbours in the UK, home to a fleet of some 10,000 vessels. Its coastline is charactarised by distinctive tidal channels leading to a maze of inlets and rithes that criss-cross expanses of saltmarsh and mudflats. The shoreline is fringed by wind-sculpted oaks and scrub, with open agricultural fields bounded by hedgerows. Chichester Harbour was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1964. The reason it meets the criteria for the designation is because the landscape has a number of exceptional features, called special qualities.

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