Argos DCS System Use Agreement of the Month
– December 2016
Plastic Pollution Tracking
Pine Richland Middle School
I am a thirteen-year-old science student in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania studying the impact of plastic water bottles on the environment, specifically the ocean.
My experiment will be entered in the Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
My research shows that storm water runoff and shore-based pollution are two major sources of plastic waste in the ocean. I plan to launch an Argos drifting buoy from a river in my community to track its journey. The buoy will simulate floating plastic waste in waterways.
Although Pennsylvania is a land-locked state, it is possible for the buoy to make its way to the Mississippi River and perhaps even the Gulf of Mexico. I have researched models of how ocean waste travels from the shore and around the globe but I could not find models of river waste reaching the ocean.
Tracking the drifting buoy will give me a good example of how far local plastic pollution can travel and impact global waters. Also as a part of my project I will engineer a solution to reduce the amount of plastic waste that flows from small bodies of water into the oceans.