Drowning in Plastics: Marine Litter and Plastic Waste Vital Graphics
The aim of this Vital Graphics publication is to provide an overview of the current global marine litter and plastic pollution challenge.
I am a marine scientist specialising in spatial planning and seafloor mapping. Growing up on the shores of the Derwent River Estuary in Tasmania I spent much of my childhood swimming, fishing and exploring the coastline, so it was natural that I would pursue a marine related career. However, my first real job was working in the mountains radio tracking the movements of wallabies and possums in a forestry area. It did not take me long to move to a marine job, spending the first 10 years of my career mapping the seafloor around Tasmania.
At GRID-Arendal, I lead the state of environment and spatial planning group. Our group works on a range of projects that support marine management with a focus on coastal and small island developing states. Currently we are supporting countries in South America, the Pacific and Africa on various aspects of environmental assessment and spatial planning. Many of our projects also have a strong focus on the communication of environmental information, particularly using web maps and graphics and through story maps.
My greatest achievements include the creation of a map of the global seafloor geomorphology, which mapped seafloor features including submarine canyons, seamounts and deep ocean trenches. Projects from across the globe have used this map to support marine planning and research. I have also worked on marine protected area planning for the Australian Government, which resulted in the development of a national network of marine protected areas.