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News Feature

Surry
Originally published in Castine Patriot, October 5, 2017 and Island Ad-Vantages, October 5, 2017 and The Weekly Packet, October 5, 2017
Mile of coastline yields 1,457 pieces of trash
Most of that is plastic

Beach cleanup

Findings from a beach cleanup at Blue Hill Heritage Trust’s Carter Nature Preserve on Saturday, September 16. The event was organized by the Marine & Environmental Research Institute in Blue Hill and by the trust.

Photo courtesy of Blue Hill Heritage Trust

More than 30 volunteers cleaned up a mile of coastline at Blue Hill Heritage Trust’s Carter Nature Preserve on Saturday, September 16. The event was organized by the Marine & Environmental Research Institute in Blue Hill and by the trust.

The group collected about 1,457 pieces of trash, 94 percent of which were plastic. Of the plastic trash, 21 percent was single-use plastic.

Data collected on Saturday was part of the Ocean Conservancy’s annual international beach cleanup survey. The results of this global effort help inform research about the impacts plastics have on ocean ecosystems.

MERI is using the plastics collected at the cleanup to make improvements to its own research protocols. Researchers at the institute plan to conduct stain testing to further discern what types of plastic polymers are being found in our region, and to streamline their identification process so they can gather data from larger stretchs of coastline.