Marine Debris Program Visits Project Sites Across Southern California
AUG. 1, 2022 — The week of July 18, 2022, NOAA Marine Debris Program staff participated in a tour of partner projects being conducted in the greater San Diego area.
The trip included site visits and discussions with researchers at San Diego State University regarding their Marine Debris Program-funded research project, which seeks to understand the amount of marine debris that ends up in the San Diego River watershed from unhoused communities (especially abandoned communities), illegal dumping, and storm drain outfalls, in collaboration with the San Diego River Park Foundation. The trip also included a visit to the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve and a discussion with WILDCOAST, both of whom are leading projects in the Tijuana River Valley to address cross-border marine debris.
Lastly, the Marine Debris Program team participated in the master’s thesis proposal defense of Elena Aguilar, a NOAA Experiential Research and Training Opportunity intern under the co-mentorship of two Marine Debris Program team members. Elena is in the Geography Department at San Diego State University and is using a combination of field assessments and remote sensing methods to determine plastic pollution hotspots in stream channels of the Los Laureles Canyon Watershed Mexico, which is part of the greater Tijuana River Watershed. We are happy to report that Elena passed with flying colors!