Nurdle Patrol Receives $400K to Expand into Mexico


Nurdle Patrol received a huge boost in September 2021 with the announcement of expanding efforts throughout Mexico, thanks to a grant from the NOAA Marine Debris Program. The Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute received over $400,000 to work with the Universidad Veracruzana in creating new partnerships across the country of Mexico, host a plastic pollution symposium in Veracruz, Mexico, fill in data gaps along the Gulf of Mexico beaches, and convert the NurdlePatrol.org website and app into Spanish. Nurdle Patrol Startup Kits and Teacher Nurdle Kits are also being converted to Spanish and sent out all over the Mexico and the U.S. over the two-year project period. The ultimate goal is to identify policies in both Mexico and the U.S. that can help to reduce the amount of nurdles entering the Gulf of Mexico.

Nurdles are small plastic pellets that serve as the raw material to most plastic products. These pellets are being released into the environment by companies along the entire supply chain from manufacturing to transportation and distribution. As of September 2021, Nurdle Patrol has over 4,300 citizen scientists that have conducted over 9,700 nurdle surveys along rivers, lakes, and beaches to try and identify the source of plastic pellets.

Matching funds for this project are coming from the Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust through a grant to Nurdle Patrol for education and outreach about plastic pollution.