Nurdle Patrol Citizen Science Program

Principal Investigator

Nurdle Patrol is a citizen science project founded by Jace Tunnell in November 2018 after a large number of small plastic pellets (nurdles) washed up on Mustang and North Padre Islands in Texas that September. A nurdle is a plastic pellet which serves as raw material in the manufacturing of plastic products.

Nurdles are washing up on beaches, riverbanks, and lake shorelines worldwide by the millions. This project is a partnership project between the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the University of Texas Marine Science Institute that brings together scientists, landowners, policy makers, and the public to ensure that coastal management decisions benefit flora and fauna, water quality, and people.

The Nurdle Patrol website allows volunteers to enter how many nurdles they found in a 10-minute period at a certain location, then maps out plastic pellet concentrations so that solutions can be generated to help solve the pollution problem. The project aims to gather information about where nurdles are located, remove the nurdles from the environment, and create awareness about the nurdle issue.