Skimming the Surface

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

A series of data animations produced in collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

CAFF in cooperation with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology showcase the problem of plastics pollution in the Arctic, and explores plastic interactions with seabirds to build support for a circumpolar plastics monitoring program that will include birds as an indicator of whether marine plastic mitigation efforts are effective. Plastics are a pervasive global problem, including in the Arctic. They have adverse effects on wildlife and humans. There is a need for a circumpolar monitoring program for plastics. There are solutions that are feasible and cost-effective. Birds are impacted by plastic but can be used to monitor mitigation efforts. While solving the plastics problem in the Arctic requires larger policy changes, there are actions that can be taken by regional stakeholders today that will help better understand both the problem and the solutions.