Nurdle hunting

in Florida

A Rocha’s marine team in Florida, based close to the Kennedy Space Centre, conduct research and education in the Cape Canaveral National Seashore Indian River Lagoon and coastal marine habitats. Local wildlife includes manatees, alligators, countless fish species, and numerous shorebirds. The team are leading the way in beach cleanups and microplastics research.

Nurdles are plastic pellets, about the size of a popcorn kernel. They are made from hydrocarbons, and are transported by land and sea to factories where they are melted and made into most plastic products. 

A Rocha’s marine conservation globally has developed projects to study nurdles using methods that non-scientists can join in with. 

The method is simple: search for a set amount of time on a coast, river or lake and upload your results to the Great Nurdler – a partner documenting citizen science nurdle hunts globally. 

Visitors, students at Coastal Community School, Titusville High School, Eastern Florida State University, churches, and families have all contributed to our study of nurdles on Florida’s Space Coast

  • Watch Bob Sluka’s short, non-academic video showing what the sites are like and also some of our results. Thank you to the many A Rocha supporters and friends who contributed to this study.
  • A Rocha has put together a Plastics Toolbox where you can learn all about microplastics, including how to have a nurdle hunt and contribute your data to our understanding of this plastic problem. This is an excellent activity for families and small groups.