We intuitively know that much of the plastic litter on our city streets will be carried by stormwater runoff to our creeks and rivers. We also know that macro plastic breaks down into microplastics (< 5 mm) and that researchers have found elevated levels in freshwater and marine waters across the globe.
Unfortunately there is little peer reviewed research into the direct link between stormwater runoff and microplastic levels in river and coastal bays.
Two California microplastic studies conducted by Algalita Marine Research Foundation (link) conducted in 2000 – 2001 demonstrate the role that stormwater runoff plays in Southern California coastal water and shows why we need aquatic microplastic research in the Schuylkill – Delaware Basin.
Logan Triangle, like many areas in Philadelphia, suffers from excessive illegal dumping.
At the Logan Civic Association meeting on May 14th, local residents complained about this long term problem and asked for action.
Based on District 8 Trash Task Force meetings, personal investigations and Philadelphia’s Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet information, I have assembled the attached Logan Triangle Illegal Dumping Action Plan to help focus our efforts to tackling the Logan Triangle and wider dumping crisis.
Key points from this draft plan:
Logan Civic Association meeting on May 14, 2018 will discuss Illegal Dumping in Logan Triangle.
I conducted a photo trash survey of Logan Triangle on May 8th. There are dozens of illegal dump sites in City streets and sidewalks as well as on Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) property. Here’s a summary of the survey:
Vox has a great video that explains how loss of sea ice in the arctic is affecting our weather.
In my January, 2017 post, I compared Philadelphia’s earlier litter index to the then recently released LA Street Litter Index. LA had made significant improvements in their index. I am thrilled to report that one year later, Philadelphia has a state-of-the-art litter index that provides litter status data for every street segment in the City.
The new index is based on city block surveys where surveyors assessed the litter situation on a 4 point scale:
Surveyor data included date(s) of survey, litter count for the block as well as a link to field photograph(s).
Users can download the City’s detailed litter survey data at 3 levels of detail:
I have started analyzing the 2017 Litter Index Data for Council District 8. These 2 maps show the point survey data and the block – street segment data for Council District 8.
Congratulations to the City’s Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet for implementing this comprehensive litter measurement system. This data will help community groups, individuals, litter activists and City Departments to focus attention on both city-wide and neighborhood priorities and measure progress as we work together to solve the City’s chronic street trash problem.
I have become quite interested in the use of GIS to study historical events like the Battle of Gettysburg and the Johnstown Flood.
You can view my Johnstown Flood assessment video here:
Peter Sinclair (https://climatecrocks.com/) provides excellent video interviews with climate scientists. Here’s an interview with Asa Rennermalm of Rutgers.
NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center is forecasting up to 20-inches of rain for Texas coastal areas over next 7 days (link).
Corpus Christie and Houston are in 20+ inch total 7-day rainfall belt, New Orleans is in the 4-6 inch belt.
Here’s an ArcGIS 10.3 map of the WPC forecast to show the rain belts and Texas – Louisiana cities.
Best wishes to all in path of this major flooding event.
Philadelphia has 6 Sanitation Convenience Centers (SCC) that provide residents safe, free, reliable disposal sites for excess trash and special items like tires and TVs,electronics.
These Centers are a critical resource for the City’s Zero Waste and Litter efforts, however, there are two residential access issues that must be addressed to ensure their potential effectiveness:
Residents access to an SCC is critical for reducing illegal dumping. The City will need to improve access to the SCCs for households without vehicles and those outside the 15-minute travel time zones