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Institute of Environmental Research and Education

Plastic Pollution Project

Faculty from the University of North Florida and Eckerd College received a $340,000 award from the NOAA Marine Debris Program to reduce single-use plastic consumption and foster long-term pro-environmental behaviors among undergraduates in coastal communities. The goal of the research program was to reduce generation of marine debris in those areas over time. Learn more about the research project.

IERE Support

While always a continued effort, the goal of the project was to educate the community about the harmful results of using single-use plastics, and how students, faculty, and staff can reduce their plastic consumption by choosing to refuse. IERE’s role in the sponsored research project was to plan and implement single-use plastic reduction outreach and education initiatives and involve students every step of the way . IERE staff and students facilitated single-use plastic reduction workshops and clean-ups for faculty, staff, students, and community members in Northeast Florida.

Volunteers at the beach

Community Cleanups

As community members we have a responsibility and play a vital role in protecting our environment. We must act responsibly to maintain a healthy and enjoyable environment for everyone. There are organizations around the world focused on protecting the environment from plastic pollution. 

Join other students, faculty and staff in helping remove trash and debris from parks and waterways in Northeast Florida. Visit the homepage for details on upcoming events. 

Speaker at podium

Workshops and Lectures

A number of education and outreach activities were executed throughout the two-year project. These activities were designed to raise awareness about marine debris, facilitate understanding of the connections between actions and impacts in the marine environment, and encourage behavior change. These activities included both formal (e.g., courses or modules) and informal (e.g., lectures, workshops, cleanups open to voluntary participation by members of the community) education experiences.

Attend a virtual workshop to expand your knowledge of single-use plastics and how they impact the environment. You can view past recordings below.