The marine environmental status of the 2 Seas Region is a common concern, and a major topic in Interreg IVa 2 Seas and France Manche. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive states that marine litter need to be at levels that do not adversely alter the ecosystems. Marine Litter -inclusive Microplastics - is one of the descriptors for a GES – Good Environmental Status. However so far, good practices for adequate monitoring are unknown.

Microplastics at the 2 Seas Region will be monitored, based on modeling, observations (abiotic to inventarize the microplastics, and biotic data to assess impact- gathered and integrated during the project), lab experiments and mathematical models.

© Crown copyright 2012, permission granted by Thomas Maes, Cefas microplastics - © Crown copyright 2012, permission granted by Thomas Maes, Cefas

© Crown copyright 2012, permission granted by Thomas Maes, Cefas

The aims within the MICRO project concern scientific, educational expertise and exchange and raising the public and scientific awareness.

The study on risk and impact evaluation of microplastics in the 2 Seas France Manche Channel Area will also lead to mitigating action to reduce the problem and to involve sectors like mariculture, fisheries, and waste treatment companies.

The integrated approach will contribute to this general aim, which is divided into 5 subobjectives:

  • Modeling of the presence and accumulation of microplastics and macroplastics in the marine environment.
  • Analysis of the transport of microplastics in the environment.
  • Determination of the biological effects of plastic particles on marine life and marine environment.
  • Determination of the biological effect of the chemical load of microplastics on marine life.
  • Searching for mitigating actions. In some applied cases (oyster mariculture, tourism...), impact on economical relevant activities will be assessed and mitigating actions (like degradation) proposed.

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ILVO  Ifremer  Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)  Cefas  Deltares, Enabling Delta Life  Provincie West-Vlaanderen, door mensen gedreven  Ministerie  Interreg IV A, 'Investing in your future' Crossborder cooperation programme 2007-2013 Part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund)