Plastic, Plastic Everywhere! Be Plastic Aware!

Florida Master Naturalist Holds Marine Microplastics Presentation: “Plastic, Plastic Everywhere! Be Plastic Aware!” Nov. 3
Learn how your toothpaste, lint and other plastic contribute to marine microplastics pollution in the Indian River Lagoon and Atlantic Ocean on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.

The Florida Master Naturalists of St. Lucie County, in conjunction with the UF / IFAS – St. Lucie County Extension and the Savannas Preserve State Park, will present a highly informative, free program on marine microplastics pollution.  This presentation will be conducted by Florida Master Naturalist Robert Calhoun as part of the Florida Master Naturalists Lecture Series at the Savannas Preserve State Park educational center located at 2541 SE Walton Road, Port St. Lucie.

So what happens each time you brush your teeth or wash your face?  Could you be adding microscopic pieces of plastic into the aquatic environment?  Microscopic bead particles are miniscule petroleum-based products that never, ever biodegrade. These particles can be found in marine environments where they can be eaten by marine life.  Environmental toxins adhere to these particles and become ingested along with the microbeads. Plastics may leach toxic chemicals used in their manufacture.  It is crucial to reduce marine microplastics pollution given the significant amount of plastic entering our Indian River Lagoon and Atlantic Ocean.

The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 will require the removal of polyethylene plastic from certain personal care products (those that are “designed to exfoliate or cleanse”) by 2018. But this does not cover all of the products that we use in or on our bodies.

In 2016, Florida Master Naturalist Robert Calhoun was co-lead of the marine microplastics monitoring project along a stretch of the Indian River Lagoon in St. Lucie County. Calhoun worked in conjunction with Florida Master Naturalist Cheryl McCormick, Sea Grant Extension Agent LeRoy Creswell and Natural Resources Extension Agent Ken Gioeli.  Data collected through Calhoun’s efforts was submitted to the state marine microplastics program leader Maia McGuire, Sea Grant Extension Agent with the UF/IFAS extension in St. John’s and Flagler counties.  This marine microplastics monitoring project is made possible by a grant from NOAA to raise awareness of ocean microplastics pollution with a statewide citizen science initiative.

Join Robert Calhoun on Thursday, Nov. 3 to learn about the marine microplastics monitoring program and how you can change practices to reduce the marine microplastics pollution problem in the Indian River Lagoon.

What:                                Presentation on Marine Microplastics in the
Indian River Lagoon and Atlantic Ocean
When:                               Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.
Where:                             Savannas Preserve State Park, 2541 SE Walton Road,
Port St. Lucie
Registration:                   This presentation is free of charge.
Pre-registration is not required.
Information:                    Contact Mary White, President, Florida Master Naturalists of St. Lucie County at 772-359-6213

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