How much plastic is in the Great Lakes? More than you think!

From TWCNews Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The first region-wide study to look at how much plastic is in the rivers and streams that feed the Great Lakes has concerning numbers for the some 40 million people who rely on the lakes for drinking water.

Sherri Mason is a professor at SUNY Fredonia. About four years ago, she and a few other researchers embarked on the first large-scale plastics pollution study of the Great Lakes. Her latest research surveyed 29 water sources, making up 20 percent of the water that feeds into the Great Lakes. Every one of them had plastic pollution.

“For every large piece of plastic you see, there are literally millions of microplastics that you can’t see,” Mason said.

A fish whose growth was deformed by a plastic bottle ring. This fish was caught in Mexico Bay, Lake Ontario, July 2011. (Credit: Jim Bodenstab)

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