Two Menorcan beaches are continuing under the magnifying glass of citizen science

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For the fourth consecutive year, the sand on the beaches of Algaiarens and Son Bou will be analysed with the help of primary and secondary school students to try to determine the incidence of plastic waste on our coast.

The activity is carried out with different educational centres and employs the methodology of the Miroplastic Watchers project in order to introduce students to the importance of following a common scientific methodology.

Microplastic Watchers is a citizens marine science project integrated into the platform of the Observers of the Sea. The object is to collect data of the presence and abundance of micro and macro plastics in the marine environment, in order to work on the diagnosis and awareness of this global problem. The participants collect data monthly from specific beaches, following the scientific protocol for sampling and classifying the plastics of different types and sizes.

This year, the schools, CEIP Margalida Florit of Ciutadella and Biel Marti of Ferreries wil be those in charge of analysing the sea of Algaiarens, in La Vall, and the CEIP Virgen del Carmen School in Maó, will monitor the beach of Son Bou on the south of the island.

As we explained a few weeks ago (third year of the Observers of the Sea:  the Dunes) the initiative not only considers the collection and analysis of sand samples but also includes various activities for discovering different coastal ecosystems. Here, students are introduced to themes such as the importance of posidonia for the maintenance of our beaches; the importance of sharks for maintaining healthy and abundant marine ecosystems; and how climate change pushes turtles to search for new breeding areas.

Thanks to the support of the Caixa Bank, through its Environment 2023 initiative, the GOB associations of Menorca and Ibiza have been able to carry on with this citizens science project that started in Menorca in 2020.