“Towards establishing a long-term multidisciplinary research platform to assess the impact of microplastics on Laurentian Great Lakes ecosystem health”
Key components of this work have included:
- Conducting extensive field surveys in summer 2014, including areas near urban areas and downstream of wastewater treatment facilities, to understand the distribution of microplastics in the Great Lakes system;
- Developing new methods to quantify, or count, plastics in field samples;
- Improving circulation models to better understand how plastics are transported through the system;
- Analyzing fish stomach contents to understand the degree of plastic ingestion including particles and fibers (e.g., micro-fleece) in key organisms;
- Analyzing plastic-associated toxins, to assess potential ecological and environmental health risks from leaching pollutants; and
- Exploring dynamics of plastic-dwelling microbial communities to understand their potential role in breaking down plastic particles.
Project leaders: Melissa Duhaime (email@example.com) Krista Rule Wigginton, University of Michigan, Dmitry Beletsky, University of Michigan, Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research
More information about this project here.