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Project Code [2016-W-MS-23]

The table below provides an overview of the project with code 2016-W-MS-23. This information is correct as of today and is updated from time to time by the EPA to reflected changes in the management of the project. Please check back regularly for updates.

Project Attribute Project Details
Project Title Impacts of Microplastics on the Irish Fresh Water Environment
EPA Project Code 2016-W-MS-23
Lead Organisation University College Cork (UCC)
Coordinator Marcel Jansen
EPA Research 2014 - 2020 Theme(s) Water: Theme 1: Safe Water
EPA Research Pillars
Project Start and End Dates Start: 31/03/2017
End (if applicable): 30/03/2020
Revised End Date (if applicable):
EPA Project Type Medium Scale Project
EPA Award Type STRIVE - Project Based Awards
Current Project Status Grant Awarded
Total Funding Amount 123067.20
Project Abstract/Description Microplastics comprise small (<5mm) plastic particles that are widespread in the marine environment. Microplastics have negative impacts on a broad range of marine species, but relatively little is known about microplastics in the freshwater environment. A recent report on microplastics in the fresh water environment refers to “scarcity of information” on critical topics such as sources, environmental fate, and biological impacts. The central objective of the proposed project is to explore the impacts of different microplastics on fresh water aquatic organisms and ecosystems, identifying those microplastics that pose the biggest risks to the freshwater environment. The novelty and relevance of the proposed project is that it targets Irish fresh water organisms and ecological interactions, uses standardised (OECD) impact assays that generate standardised data, compares the impacts of different plastics and plastics of different sizes, uses a holistic approach whereby impacts are quantified across a range of representative species and biological endpoints, and analyses impacts on habitats by measuring trophic interactions, including bioaccumulation. The data generated will inform policy-makers, enabling development of regulatory approaches that target those microplastics that are of most environmental concern. Furthermore, the data generated will be a stepping stone towards biomonitoring and bioremediation approaches. The proposed project has a strong focus on outputs, and the dissemination of outputs. Outputs include (1) at least 3 peer reviewed open access publications detailing impacts of microplastics on fresh water organisms and trophic interactions, and published in international journals, (2) a final report, including lay summary, describing the main findings and conclusions of the project, (3) a PhD-thesis submitted to UCC, (4) posters and/or conference presentations in Ireland and abroad, and (5) a dedicated project webpage. A part-time RA will assure a continuous flow of updated information via the project webpage. The latter will contain, amongst others, a (regularly updated) lay summary targeted at the general public, posters, and blog-style updates. Finally, a workshop will be organised for relevant stakeholders to disseminate new knowledge.
EPA Scientific Officer AnneMason
Linkage to SAFER Currently no project resources for this project on SAFER


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