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Plastic Pollution in the Great Lakes | Ohio Sea Grant

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Plastic Pollution in the Great Lakes

April 9, 2021 – This talk will go over what we know about plastic pollution in the Great Lakes and some science-based solutions

An estimated 10,000 tons of plastic pollution enter the Great Lakes each year. This talk will cover what we know about plastic in the Great Lakes, some science-based solutions, and ways to engage the public in reducing their plastics consumption.


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Presentations

Plastic pollution in our Great Lakes: The science that can inform solutions

Dr. Chelsea Rochman, Assistant Professor in Ecology, University of Toronto

An estimated 10,000 tonnes of plastic pollution enter the Great Lakes each year. As a consequence, microplastic particles are found in Great Lakes surface water, sediments, and fish. This contamination extends to our local sportfish and drinking water. This talk will go over what we know about plastic in our Great Lakes and some science-based solutions.

Skip the Straw, Ban the Bag, Does it really work?

Jill Bartolotta, Extension Educator, Ohio Sea Grant
Susan Bixler, Extension and Outreach Assistant, Stone Lab

Have you ever wondered if the skipping and banning of single-use plastic items really works? Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory are working on several projects with Ohio businesses and consumers to Skip the Straw or Ban the Bag. We have spent the past two years working closely with businesses to phase out single-use plastics and educating consumers on the issue of plastic pollution. We will share highlights from these projects and discuss next steps.

About the Speakers

Chelsea Rochman
Chelsea Rochman Assistant Professor in Ecology, University of Toronto

Chelsea Rochman is an Assistant Professor in Ecology at the University of Toronto and a co-founder of the U of T Trash Team. Chelsea has been researching the sources, sinks and ecological implications of plastic debris in marine and freshwater habitats for more than a decade. She has published dozens of scientific papers in respected journals and has led international working groups about plastic pollution. In addition to her research, Chelsea works to translate her science beyond academia. For example, Chelsea presented her work to the United Nations General Assembly and is called upon to advise the provincial and federal governments on policies related to plastic pollution. Through the U of T Trash Team, she leads local science efforts that can directly inform local and global mitigations efforts.


Jill Bartolota
Jill Bartolotta Extension Educator, Ohio Sea Grant

Jill Bartolotta, Ohio Sea Grant Extension Educator for Ashtabula and Lake Counties, works with municipalities, scientists, and the public to collaboratively manage Lake Erie and its resources through research, outreach and education, and partnership development. Her areas of focus include experiential environmental education, marine debris, wildlife ecology, climate change impacts on coastal communities, interdisciplinary approach to problem solving, engagement of relevant stakeholders, contextual mapping, and use of science in the decision-making process.


Sue Bixler Education and Outreach Assistant, Stone Lab

As an Education and Outreach Associate at Ohio State’s Stone Lab, Susan Bixler has presented at a variety of informal educational outreach events including EECO, Cleveland Clinic Earth Day, BGSU Elder College, and Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Group events. She was a 33-year veteran of formal education in the Michigan science classroom prior to joining the Stone Lab Education Team staff.

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