Science teacher John Dietter wanted to take his 7th Grade students at Camden-Rockport Middle School to Camden Harbor to trawl for tiny particle of disintegrating plastics called micro-plastics. Micro-plastics enter our watershed in many ways including when we launder materials made with plastics, litter, and even from the air. The challenge? Where to get professional quality trawls and a boat trip that would accommodate his students. John applied for and won a grant from S.E.A. that allowed him to buy the trawls, which will be used for many years, and a boat trip. As a side benefit, for many of our students, this was their first trip in the harbor.
Each trawl the students made revealed in the lab that it contained micro-plastics. The photographs below of students on their trip and in the lab show their work, and their conclusion, that the micro-plastics look so much like food sources that many sea creatures eat them.
The Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Boothbay has just concluded a study showing that micro-plastics are harmful to lobster larvae.
Check out the Bangor Daily News article on this event!