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NOAA NCEI Global Marine Microplastics Database Initiative
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  • Ebenezer Nyadjro,
  • Zhankun Wang,
  • Tim Boyer,
  • Scott Cross,
  • Just Cebrian
Ebenezer Nyadjro
Mississippi State University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Zhankun Wang
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
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Tim Boyer
NOAA/National Oceanographic Data Center
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Scott Cross
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Just Cebrian
Mississippi State University
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Marine microplastics (< 5 mm) pollution is a growing problem affecting coastal communities, marine ecosystems, marine life and human health. Microplastics have been detected throughout the entire global ocean, and it is hard to escape news of microplastics debris in our oceans. Despite the growing awareness, the management of marine microplastics data, from large-scale surveys along the coast and open ocean, to effects of microplastics on planktonic communities, lags far behind the needs of the scientific, education, and decision maker communities. The lack of large-scale, long-term comprehensive data on microplastics makes it difficult to completely understand the sources, distribution and impacts of microplastics, as well as forecasting their trajectory and aggregation under current and future climates. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), which is regarded as the nation’s environmental data steward, is spearheading efforts to create a global database on microplastics. As a first step, we are currently collating microplastics data from across the world into a primary marine debris data warehouse. The ultimate goal is to develop a one-stop repository where data on all types of microplastics are aggregated, archived, and served to the community in a consistent and reliable manner. Together with other NCEI databases, such as the Global Ocean Current Database, World Ocean Database, and the Surface Underway Marine Database, stakeholders will be able to access and assess data for their needs, thereby enhancing our capacity to understand and manage the problem of microplastics pollution. The microplastics database will be freely accessible and maintained with newly received data from global stakeholders.