Do Agricultural Plastics Enter Waterways and the Ocean?
Pam Krone, Agricultural Water Quality Coordinator, California Marine Sanctuary Foundation
Our monitoring activities of Monterey California streams found agricultural plastics are breaking down into micro-plastics travelling down these waterways to the Pacific Ocean. The California Marine Sanctuary Foundation would like to encourage agricultural suppliers and producers to intensify efforts to retrieve plastic from fields, fully recycle or replace agricultural plastic, and to preferentially purchase products with recycle content, in order to complete the circular use cycle.
Pam Krone is the Agricultural Water Quality Coordinator for the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation. For the past two years she has been researching plastic use in Agriculture on California’s Central Coast, including the amounts and types of plastic used for crop production. She lead a monitoring program to collect stream samples in agriculturally dominated areas and analyze the type and quantity of microplastic found in these samples, as well as doing stream bank surveys of trash. The approach of CMSF is solution oriented and our hope is to help growers find ways to prevent plastic from entering waterways and the ocean through field practices to prevent escape of plastic from fields and through adopting biodegradable alternatives and increasing the rate of recycling. In addition to working to prevent plastic pollution, her role also includes preventing nutrient and pesticide pollution and also includes working on Healthy Soils projects to sequester carbon into the soils of farmlands.