Welcome to my website! Here I will be documenting the journey of my capstone project as well as my final year as an undergraduate student (finally!). For my capstone project I will be looking at the concentrations of marine debris on Santa Rosa Island and the mainland. I am looking forward to getting out to SRI soon!
The idea to center my capstone project around marine debris came to me in February of this year when I volunteered on an Island Packer beach cleanup. There were many organizations involved; IPCO, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, NOAA, and SB Adventure Company, all who took the whole day off to clean up the backside of Santa Cruz Island.
We used kayaks and a skiff to haul trash off the beach and onto the back deck of the Island Adventurer. The east end of the backside of SCI is one of my favorite spots – and the amount of debris present was astonishing and really stuck with me. Plastics and derelict fishing gear were the number one contributors to the ~1300 lbs of trash that ended up being removed that day.
This got me thinking – how can one of the last pristine places in California be contaminated with that much debris? What are the effects on the environment from the presence of all of this debris and why aren’t we taking more responsibility for our poor waste management? I am excited to learn more about this issue throughout my capstone journey!