First Advisor

Elise Granek

Date of Award

Spring 6-16-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science and University Honors


Environmental Science and Management




Microplastics, Stormwater, Urban Runoff, Plastic Pollution, Coastal Regions, Tire Wear Particles


Microplastics have become ubiquitous in marine environments and pose a risk to ecosystem, organismal, and human health. Stormwater runoff has been suggested to be a major contributor to marine microplastic pollution. This project aims to quantify the average concentration of microplastics in stormwater in a community on the Oregon Coast. To accomplish this, stormwater samples were collected from five sites in Cannon Beach, Oregon, and one sample was analyzed using a dissection microscope. Using this technique, the number, size, and composition of the microplastic particles were determined. The calculated concentration of microplastics in the stormwater sample was 12.21 MPs/L, and the dominant microplastic type was tire wear. Establishing a baseline of microplastic pollution originating from stormwater systems along coastal regions is the first step in developing effective mitigation strategies. The work produced in this study will contribute to the baseline data for an ongoing research project aimed at testing the efficacy of various microplastic mitigation strategies, including stormwater control measures.