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Padua, 20 Feb 2022

A Sail for the Blue – Studying the dispersion of microplastics in the Ocean

A Sail for the Blue: Research for Oceans and Microplastics is a project of the JANCRIS Association, set to depart in May of this year. The project, sponsored by the University of Padua, carries out its mission by monitoring the dispersion and abundance of plastics and microplastics in the Atlantic Ocean.

Departing from Cape Canaveral, Florida (USA), the vessel faces a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, passing the coasts of Florida, the Bahamas, the Azores, and Portugal towards its final destination in the Mediterranean through the Strait of Gibraltar before finally docking in Genoa towards the end of July.

The journey includes a research program and crew coordinated by UniPD Prof. Maria Cristina Lavagnolo. The crew, including University of Padua environmental engineering researcher Valentina Poli, is tasked with monitoring the ocean by collecting water samples from various environmental compartments, such as sand and sediments, surface water, water columns and possibly biota.

First processed using specially built instruments found upon the vessel, collected samples will be analysed further at UniPD laboratories.  The innovative methodologies developed by the Environmental Health Engineering research group, in collaboration with a prestigious British university, monitor plastic microfibers levels in each sample before being georeferenced with GPS technology.

A further objective of the project is to share the results through a documentary filmed during the journey to generate awareness of the issue of ocean pollution.

“A Sail for the Blue” is part of the 800th Anniversary of the University of Padua celebrations.

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