SEA Media Attention Following Publication on Plastic Debris Research

SEA Semester at Woods Hole gained more international attention this week due to an article in Science magazine highlighting the almost 25-year data set on plastic debris in the North Atlantic Ocean, the foremost of its kind in the world. NPR’s “Science Friday” picked up the story and interviewed SEA Oceanographer and faculty member Dr. Kara Lavender Law on Friday. Listen to the full interview at

Generations of SEA Semester students from all majors have contributed to this significant research, and the work continues with each SEA Semester program offered.  For further information on the Science article, the history of this research, or SEA Semester programs, visit

SEA Scientists and Students Contribute to Finding Widespread Floating Plastic Debris in North Atlantic Ocean

Students at SEA collected tens of thousands of plastic pieces at 6,100 offshore locations. Credit: Sea Education Association

Undergraduates working through the Sea Education Association (SEA) play major role in discovery.

Despite growing awareness of the problem of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, little solid scientific information has existed about the nature and scope of the issue. This week, a team of researchers from the Sea Education Association (SEA), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and the University of Hawaii (UH) has published results in the journal Science of a study of plastic marine debris based on data collected over 22 years by undergraduate students. Read more:

To read a report on this topic from WHOI, visit here:

Follow Plastics at Sea Expedition

Follow Sea Education Association’s “Plastics at SEA” Expedition, the first federally funded research expedition on plastic pollution in the North Atlantic. To date, this research cruise has counted 42,186 pieces of plastic in 71 net tows over a period of 19 days. Although they have been averaging 100 or 200 pieces of plastic per tow, on Monday, June 21, one of the nets recovered 23,000 pieces of plastic in a 30-minute tow which translates to about 26 million pieces per km2. This is a record for SEA, which has been sampling plastic marine debris in the Atlantic Ocean for more than 25 years.

Watch the mid-cruise report

Listen to Captain Chris McGuire’s audio report from sea

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