Surfing for Science

The Alive Foundation collaborates with the Surfing for Science project, led by the University of Barcelona (UB) with the support of the Surfrider Foundation, a research initiative to assess microplastic pollution in the sea .

The volunteer team in full sample collection activity

In this scientific research, citizens can participate who sail with human-powered boats , such as paddle surf, kayak, row or pirogue, collecting microplastics using a net attached to the boat. The volunteers carry out fortnightly samplings of the same transect, and everything that is collected in the network, without manipulation by the volunteers, is sent to the laboratories of the University of Barcelona for analysis and, in this way, can detect the amount and type of microplastics present.

Project network

transect on the Escalante coast goes from the exit of the marina, in Riells, to past Port d’en Perris beach, in La Punta. The team of volunteers drag a custom-made net through the project, and once sampled, the samples are stored, without handling by the volunteer team, until they are transported to the University. Through the Surfingforsciencelab account, from the Instagram application, it will be possible to track the results obtained.

In order to be able to carry out this task , we count on the participation of Club Nàutic l’Escala , which organizes the activities every fortnight and trains and coordinates the volunteers who carry out the sampling.

Project network

The Surfing for Science initiative began in 2020 and has been carried out in various parts of the Catalan coast, including Llançà and Roses. During the year 2023, the project started on the coast of the Basque Country – Plentzia, Mundaka, Orio, Sant Sebastià and Hondarribi – and, in Catalonia, L’Escala hosted one of the sampling points, which was added to the stations of Roses, Palafrugell, Barcelona, ​​Vila-seca and El Perelló.

To establish the sampling station of the Surfing for Science project on the coast of l’Escala, a sampling network was acquired and the necessary financial resources are provided for the subsequent research, which will determine the microplastic pollution of the coast scale In this way, the Surfing for Science project is being helped to continue research along the Catalan coast.