Algalita Research Projects

Maui Research Project with Trilogy Excursions

The Algalita Marine Research Institute has partnered with Trilogy Excursions to conduct a baseline study on plastics in the waters off of Maui Nui - the first ever study of micro plastics in inshore Hawaiian waters.
Check back for more information!


Antarctica Research Project with Tara Foundation for Marine Research

A new scientific project designed by the Algalita Marine Research Institute, focused on identifying the presence of plastic residue in the waters adjacent to Antarctica, has been added to the ship board research protocols.
Tara a floating research platform that is co-directed by Dr. Eric Karsenti and Etienne Bourgois. Its principal objectives are to enable scientists to study little known aspects of ocean ecosystems including planktonic life, and the effect of global warming on this critical unicellular base to the marine food chain. Also studied are the effects of global warming on coral reefs and the marine life dependent upon them. Learn more >>


Plastic Debris Rivers to Sea

During the Plastic Debris Rivers to Sea project, the Algalita Marine Research Institute assessed the materials and products that make up the litter and other discarded materials that flow through the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers to the ocean. The primary goal of the project is to reduce the land-based discharges via urban runoff of plastics and other discarded materials that degrade water quality and impair beneficial uses of inland and coastal waters. >>

California Plan of Action >>

Plastic Debris Rivers to Sea Conference >>


Biological Impact Study of Pollutants Attached to Plastic (BISPAP)

Algalita is investigating the relationship between plastic ingestion and the accumulation of harmful compounds in animal tissue. We are interested in how these compounds, such as POPs (persistent organic pollutants), are affecting the basic biology of the marine life in areas such as general fitness, buoyancy, and reproduction. Eventually our research will investigate the bioaccumulation of these toxins and the implications this has for the entire food chain.

Studies >>

2009 Update >>

Research Paper >>
Plastic Ingestion by Planktivorous Fishes in the North Pacific Central Gyre - March 21, 2011 - authors Christiana M. Boerger, Gwendolyn L. Lattin, Shelly L. Moore, and Charles J. Moore

Escalera Nautica

The "Nautical ladder" project spans the coast of our neighbors to the south. President Fox of Mexico had proposed to build 24 new marinas down the coast of Baja California with the hope of luring American boating businesses and tourists across the border by providing 23,000 new slips. The marina was poorly designed and put in the middle of a littoral cell where sand moves along a beach. If you try to put a marina where sand is in motion, it fills it up and the jetties weren’t long enough to keep the sand out. The marina was filled with sand, which made it unusable. They had to stop the project and they are now just starting it up again to extend the jetties out further so that the sand will not continue to fill in the marina so quickly. The problem we foresee is that marinas disrupt the delicate balance naturally created for the coastal marine ecosystem. Although this issue is a politically charged, international one, AMRI is encouraged to participate in determining the effects these new marinas will have. After all, it was our founder, Charles Moore who said, "The Ocean has no boundaries; the impact humans have on the ocean effects the entire ocean."

Year two (2) of the Benchmark study of the San Ignacio and
Ojo de Liebre Lagoon

This study has produced the first scientific report characterizing the marine habitat of the Eastern Pacific Gray Whale.  Scientist Gustavo Riano of Biopesca has compiled the scientific research of various participants in the study and produced an interactive CD comparing the two lagoons that concludes the results for the pilot project.