The main goal of this project is to develop a simulation tool based on numerical modeling of particle transport that allows to predict the distribution of marine litter in coastal areas influenced by rivers. These areas are particularly relevant because they include different habitats of community interest such as estuaries and dune systems. This tool will be applied for the identification of the “black dots” (areas of the highest accumulation of marine litter) in two protected natural areas of the Cantabrian coast:

  • Dunas de Liencres y Estuario del Pas.
  • Marismas de Santoña, Victoria y Joyel.

To achieve this main goal, we set out the following specific objectives:

  1. Modeling of the potential spatial distribution of the marine litter derived from a punctual spill (sensu latu) (e.g. river discharge) within each of the areas of study.
  2. Spatial characterization, quantitatively and qualitatively, of the marine litter present in each of the SCIs of the study.
  3. Validation and implementation of a standardized model to forecast the distribution and accumulation of marine litter in coastal areas.
  4. Development of a conceptual model for the characterization of the interactions (e.g. effects) between marine litter and the habitats identified in the areas of study.
  5. Project dissemination and increase of the public awareness of the threat of marine litter in coastal ecosystems and the enhancement of citizen involvement in its solution.