Unfortunately Fylde Coast beaches and marine life have faced a tough week, as a deluge of microplastics have washed in on recent tides. Numerous beaches between Fleetwood, Blackpool and Lytham have been affected by significant amounts of multi-coloured plastic fragments arriving with incoming tides.
Microplastics are small pieces of plastic, measuring less than 5mm. Unfortunately, we do witness microplastics frequently on beaches and within strandlines. However, the scale seen this week indicates there has been a particular incident, possibly originating at sea or on land. Unfortunately due to their size, it is extremely difficult to effectively remove these either by hand or using any mechanical equipment. As a result many wash back out on the next tide, so we anticipate witnessing the effects of this incident for some time to come.
However, the overwhelming positive in this situation has been the response of local people. LOVEmyBEACH requested reports of locations and dates, alongside photographs to be submitted to us on social media. We now have a very strong evidence base, detailing where and when the incident occurred alongside over 30 high quality evidence photos. This information will be invaluable in taking action once the source has been identified.
Numerous organisations have come together to collect and analyse samples, investigate possible sources and ensure such an incident does not happen again. These include Wyre Council, Wyre Rivers Trust, the Environment Agency, Marine Management Organisation, Lancaster University and United Utilities.
Once the investigations have progressed, we will share more information.
If you do spot any significant levels of microplastics please email photographs detailing the location and date taken to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to everyone who has shared reports so far.