Join the Nurdle Patrol!
Join the Nurdle Patrol and become a citizen scientist! People from around the world are collecting information about nurdles, which are small pellets or lentil-sized pieces of raw plastic that are used in the manufacturing of plastics and pollute our waterways. Unfortunately, nurdles are being found on the shores of lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water, most notably in the Gulf of Mexico. Citizen scientists are mapping where nurdles are found in order to raise national and global awareness about plastic pollution, and eventually lead to better industrial practices in managing plastics and laws to mitigate this pollution.
Throughout the coming year, there will be additional events related to the Nurdle Patrol. Special speakers, beach clean-up days, beach trash art projects, and more. We hope that numerous families will participate in the Nurdle Patrol and show our community how much we value our Great Lake. This is an excellent opportunity to teach the next generation how to care for the world around us and keep it healthy.
In addition to collecting nurdles, we’ll be asking families to gather any beach trash that they may find as they search for nurdles. Manitowoc Public Library is also working with Alliance for the Great Lakes to track any kind of beach trash.
Scientists at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) noticed large quantities of nurdles showing up in gulf waters starting in 2018. Their mission now is to find out where nurdles are in various waters and remove them. Scientists want to make people aware of the nurdle problem, get them to help to remove them from waterways, and determine the impact of these bits of plastic on the environment.
More Nurdle Resources
Nurdle Patrol Facebook Group (not managed by MPL)
Citizen Science is a program run by the government which helps federally-funded agencies to utilize regular citizens like you and me to gather data for innovative science and technology needs. Nurdle Patrol is one such program. Through this program, citizens can help to look for nurdles on beaches and shores, and then share their collected data with the scientists. Scientists, in turn, use the data that these citizens have collected to map where nurdles are being found and study their environmental impact.