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Marine Debris Program Joins Microplastics Monitoring Fieldwork in the Great Lakes

JULY 27, 2018 — Between July 9 and 12, Amy V. Uhrin, Chief Scientist for the Marine Debris Program, participated in fieldwork as part of a collaborative microplastics pilot project between the Marine Debris Program, NCCOS Great Lakes Mussel Watch, and Loyola University.

Two people working on a boat deck.
Tim Hoellein (Loyola) and Kimani Kimbrough (NCCOS) retrieve caged mussels from a site in the Milwaukee Estuary. Image credit: NOAA.
Four people work with mussels at a table.
MDP and NCCOS staff process mussel samples for microplastic and contaminant analyses. Image credit: Tim Hoellein, Loyola University.

The pilot project will assess the feasibility of biomonitoring for microplastics in the Great Lakes using invasive zebra and quagga mussels, similar to contaminant monitoring that is conducted by the NOAA Mussel Watch Program. The microplastics pilot project is focused on sites in the Milwaukee Estuary, including a site near the outfall of a wastewater treatment plant.

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Woman on the deck of a boat.
Amy V. Uhrin (MDP) secures mussels samples collected from the Milwaukee Estuary. Image credit: Tim Hoellein, Loyola University.
Last updated Friday, June 14, 2019 2:50pm PDT