Working together for clean oceans and waterways

February 2023

Eight million metric tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean each year, and more than one million marine organisms die each year from plastic pollution[1]. Plastic damages coral reefs, harms the marine ecosystem, and can break down into microplastics, pieces of plastic so small they are easily ingested by animals and humans.

Science-Metrix has contributed to several projects on clean oceans and healthy waterways, such as UNESCO’s Global Ocean Science Report and a 2018 evaluation of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Marine Microbiology Initiative. That initiative funded research to deepen understanding of marine microbes and their role in the ocean ecosystem. Science-Metrix’s bibliometric analysis showed that microplastics were an emerging topic in marine microbiology and could be an important area for future research.

Usually, though, our work doesn’t get our hands wet.

However, as part of a recent meeting with colleagues around the world, the Science-Metrix team took more direct action toward clean waterways, spending an afternoon with colleagues netting plastic and other trash out of Amsterdam’s canals, as part of a team-building service project led by the company The Plastic Whale. The team is pictured here with the results of their efforts. The data in this case was simple to tabulate: over one afternoon, using fishing nets, the team removed from the canals five green bags of PET soda bottles, six garbage bags of assorted trash, seven garbage bags of other types of plastics and 32 pieces of glass. The plastic and glass will be recycled, and the canals are now a little cleaner.

More about our work related to Ocean Science:

Read about the UNESCO Global Ocean Science report. 

Read about the evaluation of the Marine Microbiology Initiative for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Image credit: Plastic Whale



A group of people alongside trash bags