Session: Marine Debris

Co-chairs – Roger Stephenson and Alyson Eberhardt

Microplastics on New Hampshire Beaches: Citizen Science and Results

Since 2014, Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation and NH Sea Grant have collaborated to study microplastics on New Hampshire beaches. Using citizen scientists, we sample 5 beaches each month, from April through October.  Our study looks for microplastics that are 1-5mm in size, with the hope of determining potential sources and ultimately reducing litter on our beaches.  Once samples are collected, they are sorted by type (e.g., foams, filaments, fragments).  This presentation will detail our sampling methods, results and lessons learned. Participants will learn about microplastics and the types that are most prevalent on our beaches and gain information on how they can participate in the project.

Jen Kennedy, Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation
Danielle Kamberalis, Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation
Gabriela Bradt, NH Sea Grant

Jen has worked on marine debris issues since 2001. She has a BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a MS in Resource Management from UNH.


Talking Trash: Debris on local beaches and what you can do about it

The audience will learn about one of Blue Ocean Society’s approaches to tackling the marine debris issue, community beach clean-ups. Citizen scientists use an app to gather data about the debris collected at beach clean-ups. This data supports our research program, which helps us better understand local marine debris issues and how to tackle them. This presentation overviews the types of marine debris found on beaches from southern Maine to northern Massachusetts over the last decade. Audience members will learn about the most problematic marine debris types and actions they can take to help tackle these issues. The audience will also learn about Marine Debris Tracker, the free app and online, open data platform they can use to collect data during their own beach clean-ups, contributing to marine debris research. The audience will leave feeling empowered to make change, knowing that local beach clean-ups have global-scale impacts!

Danielle Kamberalis, Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation
Jen Kennedy, Executive Director, Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation
Nikki Tenaglia, Blue Ocean Society Program Assistant
and the Blue Ocean Society Volunteer Network

Danielle is Marine Debris Program Coordinator and Coordinator of the Volunteer Community at Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Danielle received her Bachelor’s degree in environmental science at Colby-Sawyer College in 2018 and continued her education with graduate coursework at the University of Texas Arlington.


Trash to Art

Join visiting artist Kim Bernard in a DIY recycling project and turn your trash into art. Participants will collect, clean, shred and extrude #2 plastic into a collaborative sculptural installation. Each participant will create a line drawing, which will be translated into a 3 dimensional form.

Kim Bernard, Artist

Kim Bernard creates sculpture that is recycled, kinetic, interactive, public and involves the community. She creates installations upcycled out of trash and is currently focusing on transforming plastic waste into sculpture using her portable recycling machines. She shows her work nationally and has been invited to participate in many exhibits, some of which include the Portland Museum of Art, Currier Museum of Art, Fuller Craft Museum, Harvard University, Art Complex Museum and UNH Museum of Art. Her work has been reviewed in the Boston Globe, Art News and Art New England. Bernard is the recipient of the Artist Advancement Grant, Kindling Fund Grant, NEFA grant, 6 Maine Arts Commission Grants as well as funding from the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation. She was an artist-in-residence in the Physics Department at Harvard University and at the University of New England. She received her BFA from Parsons in 1987 and her MFA from Mass Art in 2010. Bernard mentors emerging artists individually and teaches professional development to artists nationally.