I get over to the coast of Maine quite a bit, usually to Portland or fly fishing around Casco Bay. In August I was in Camden for a few days vacation with the family. As it happens the lab where the ASC micro-plastics program is based is only an hour or so from Camden. After getting involved with the Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC) program over the winter I decided it was a perfect opportunity to see how the science end of the program worked, meet the scientist (Abby Barrows) and create some photographs that can help tell the story of the program. If you’re not familiar with ASC, citizen science, micro-plastics and the massive problems facing our oceans due to plastics crawl out from under your rock and dig into it. Here’s short piece on my trip written up over on ASC’s website.
The interesting thing about ASC is that anyone can get involved with the sampling process. The more data points collected the better we can understand the pervasive nature of microplastics. The ASC gang is also just starting sampling freshwater in addition to the already massive effort to collect ocean water samples. So if ocean going adventures are not your bag, hit the local stream or river and grab a sample and send it to Abby and find out what kind of microplastics are floating in your water.
Here’s a screen shot of a map showing where samples have been taken and the bigger the dot the more plastics found.