MERI scientists report changes in Blue Hill Bay

BLUE HILL — Scientists working for the Marine & Environmental Research Institute have made several recent discoveries about changing conditions in Blue Hill Bay.

On Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m., research interns Margaret Stack and James Chhor will present new information on conditions in the bay at the MERI Center for Environmental Studies, 55 Main St., Blue Hill. Marine Research Coordinator Madelyn Woods will introduce the two speakers and moderate a panel discussion following their talks. The public is invited to join the conversation and light refreshments will be provided.

Surface waters throughout the bay contain microplastics, small plastic fragments that swimmers and marine species can easily swallow. Marine bivalves and fish mistake these tiny fragments of plastic for their food and ingest them.

Over the past six months, Chhor, a UC-Davis graduate, has successfully mapped out the distribution of microplastics across the bay. He will point to possible sources that should be addressed.

Stack, interning at MERI from Boston College, has completed research that addresses the question of how much plastic can a mussel eat and the related question: how much plastic are people consuming in seafood?

With a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from Boston College, Stack will stay on at MERI through spring 2018 in the new capacity of research assistant before pursuing Ph.D. studies at San Diego State College.

Following his internship, Chhor, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology from UC-Davis, also plans to pursue an advanced degree related to his work at MERI combining marine biology and climate change.

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