Community in Focus: Environmental Sustainability


In 2021, Ocean Diagnostics, in partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada, developed microplastics sampling and analysis protocols and technology for community science applications.

The pilot project involved 51 local volunteers who used the tools to sample 10 Greater Victoria shorelines monthly between April and November 2021. A total of 240 sand samples were processed using Saturna Imaging System technology, with a subset analyzed for chemical identity.

The analysis found 2,426 microplastic particles: 81% foam, 9% fragments, 7% lines, 2% films and 2% pellets.

Microplastic particles were most abundant at beaches with marinas. The dominant particle was polystyrene foam, the major type of litter removed from BC beaches and one of the most common types of global shoreline litter.

The project led to the development of a Community Science Toolkit with simple protocols and technology to help community scientists produce valuable information on microplastic pollution to drive local action.

Source: Ocean Diagnostics and Environment and Climate Change Canada