Talk on microplastics in the Gulf of Maine scheduled Sept. 10

ELLSWORTH — Hosted by Ellsworth’s Green Plan Energy and Waste Subcommittee, marine biologist Madelyn Woods will give an illustrated talk titled “Microplastics in the Gulf of Maine” at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10, at the Moore Community Center in Ellsworth.

A public forum to discuss banning single-use carry-out plastic bags in Ellsworth and other actions we can take to reduce our plastic use will follow this free and open-to-the-public event.

Woods is the marine research coordinator for Shaw Institute in Blue Hill, formerly the Marine and Environmental Research Institute. She oversees the development and implementation of many coastal monitoring and experimental marine studies.

In the past two years, Woods has provided expert testimony to the towns of Belfast and Blue Hill in support of ordinances banning single-use plastic bags.

Many microplastics begin their lives as plastic bags and other consumer items, before wind, waves and sunlight degrade this plastic into tiny fragments, sometimes invisible to the naked eye.

Once in the oceans, these toxic particles are commonly ingested by both marine and freshwater organisms, moving through the food web and potentially ending up on our own dinner plates.

Microplastics have been found in every water body on Earth from the bottom of the Mariana Trench and the Antarctic to the surface of Blue Hill Bay.

The Shaw Institute is a nonprofit scientific research organization, founded in 1990 by Susan Shaw, an environmental health scientist who initiated the investigations of plastic and microplastic contamination in Maine coastal waters in 2012.

For more information about this event, call 667-5863.

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