Microplastic pollution is a local and global problem that affects everyone. Previously, we believed that all our plastic debris would get carried out into the oceans from our lakes and rivers, and end up in one of the five garbage patches. To address the issue of ocean plastic, a female-run group called eXXpedition sail across seas and oceans sampling and quantifying plastic debris. This is a great initiative involving citizen science.
However, we now know, due to several studies (including my own), that not all plastic and microplastic debris ends up in the ocean, but a portion actually remains in our freshwaters, either floating freely in the water column or settling into the sediment. Therefore, eXXpedition decided to have the largest simultaneous microplastic sampling in the world in the Great Lakes St.Lawrence system in August 2016. I was super excited when I was asked to be the Lake Ontario Science Lead for this event.