News

Teacher Nurdle Kit

Teacher Nurdle Kits Hit the Streets

February 12, 2021

Are you a teacher that teaches students about environmental issues? Then we have a kit just for you! It’s called a Teacher Nurdle Kit, and it has a curriculum for your students to learn about how plastics reach the ocean and all the materials needed for the teacher to explain the problems and solutions clearly. This interactive kit comes with 6 glass jars of nurdles where students will work in groups to help discuss plastics, how they get into the environment, what the harmful impacts are, and what can be done to prevent

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"SOLO" Beach Clean up: February 12th-14th, 2021

February 12, 2021

"SOLO" Beach Clean up: February 12th-14th

The Mission Aransas NERR, with the support of the NOAA Marine Debris program, is launching our “Solo” clean up event. This is not any clean up- we are awarding prizes. At the end of each day a winner will be selected for the most unique item(s) found. Please see the details for the event below:

WHO: Anyone who is interested in helping to clean up coastal Texas.

WHAT: Pick-up marine debris for proper disposal while social distancing

WHERE: Anywhere in

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plastic free life challenge

Plastic Free Life Challenge

January 26, 2021

Would you like to win your way to a plastic free life? Now you can with the monthly Plastic Free Life Challenge going on each month from January to June of 2021. Each month an individual or organization can win one of our Plastic Free Life Challenge starter kits! Each kit has 42 super cool alternatives to single-use plastics, including reusable bags, sacs, utensils, straws, lunchboxes, etc.

So, how do you win? The organization or individual

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SET reading

Ready, SET, Go!

October 14, 2020

Monitoring the growth and distribution of our coastal estuary vegetation, marshes, mangroves, and seagrass beds, is an important component of the Reserve’s stewardship and land management efforts. Another critical measurement is the sinking or gaining of elevation of these habitats in relation to sea level rise.  Understanding how estuary habitats can “keep up” with sea level rise is an essential coastal management question. Not only is the health and wellbeing of coastal habitats important to the natural ecosystem, it is important to the thriving human communities and economies

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Dr. Chris Biggs holding an acoustic receiver.

Listen In: Sounds of the Estuary

October 9, 2020

Estuaries may appear to be quiet sanctuaries perfect for a meditative retreat or an escape from the hum of the city, but they are anything but silent. The Mission-Aransas Reserve, along with partners from North Inlet-Winyah Bay and Rookery Bay Reserves and researchers from The University of Texas at Austin, the University of South Carolina Beaufort, and the Florida International University are monitoring ecosystem change by studying the sounds within the estuary seascape. With support from the National Estuarine Research

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Melanie Quan

New Research on Nurdle Batches and Distribution

October 5, 2020

Melanie Quan is a senior from Las Lomas High School in California. Over the past few years, Melanie has done science and engineering projects concerning different areas of plastic pollution, such as their interactions with heavy metals, the removal of microplastics, and the up-and-coming concept of algal bioplastics. Plastic pollution, an issue that is important to her, was her topic of choice once again this summer. Under the guidance of Jace Tunnell, Reserve

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Nurdle Patrol startup kit

New Nurdle Patrol Startup Kits

August 17, 2020

Organizations can now create their own local Nurdle Patrol citizen science project! Nurdle Patrol is a project where volunteers conduct 10 minute surveys looking for tiny plastic pellets (nurdles) along waterways around the country in an effort to identify high concentrations that could lead to the source of plastic being released. With funding from the Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust

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Alaska nurdling

Alaskan "Sweet Spots" for Nurdles

April 29, 2020

Alaska, nicknamed “The Last Frontier,” is one of the most interesting, and paradoxical, US states. It’s the largest state by area, over twice the square mileage of Texas and four times that of California. And yet, it is less populous than Rhode Island. It has more coastline than all other states combined, with coasts facing the Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Bering Sea, but the Nurdle Patrol map has never before displayed surveys from one of its beaches. However, there is someone in this sparse state who happens to know a lot about nurdles, and this year, he reached out to help the

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jace tunnell crowd

Nurdle Patrol Needs You, Citizen Scientists!

April 8, 2020

Citizen scientists, Nurdle Patrol needs your help! Nurdles are tiny plastic pellets that are used to make almost every plastic item we use, so they’re everywhere! Ships, trucks, and trains all carry them, and when they spill out on their way to manufacturing facilities, they reach the ocean and wash up by the millions on beaches across every coast. The issue with nurdles is that they are harmful or even deadly for sea creatures, and if we clean them up from beaches, new ones will simply find their way back. That’s why the Nurdle Patrol is determined to make a permanent change. 

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