“Microplastic Fate and Transport in the Great Lakes”
April 9, 2020 at 2:30 pm
Plastic pollution is a serious health hazard to human and marine life, with increasing evidence for more insidious effects on aquatic ecosystems. Primary and secondary microplastics will continue to rise due to fragmentation of larger plastics which in turn affect aquatic life, birds and mammals, and our drinking water. Microplastic debris can be found in high densities in freshwater sources, where exposure to microplastics interfere with an organisms digestive process due to the ingestion and accumulation of microscopic particles. The exposure to microplastics can cause blockage, causing reduced feeding rates, lower hatching success of eggs, and reduced energy levels. The most practical means to mitigate this contamination is to identify the source and prevent the plastics from entering our waterways. Key pathways delivering microplastics to our waterways is through wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent, sludge, and runoff from urban areas- such as those observed after rainstorms that show the movement of debris through stormwater runoff to the Great Lakes. By analyzing the distribution and abundance of microplastics in the Great Lakes and their transportation to these freshwater systems from urban environments, it is hoped that we can better understand the transport of microplastics. Based on this research, enhancements can be made to wastewater treatment plants, pollution controls and legislation to reduce the amount of microplastics entering our waterways.
Please note: The seminar will be delivered as a webinar. If you wish to attend, just click HERE.