Calendar of Events
Speaker: Maia McGuire, UF/IFAS Extension Sea Grant Agent and creator of the Florida Microplastics Awareness Project.
Maia McGuire grew up on the islands of Bermuda where she developed an interest in marine biology at an early age. She received a BS in marine biology from Florida Institute of Technology, and a PhD in marine biology from the University of Miami. In 2001, she joined the Florida Sea Grant Extension Program at the University of Florida. As a Sea Grant extension agent, she conducts informal education programs on topics including marine debris, climate change, and invasive species. In 2015, McGuire was awarded a NOAA Marine Debris Outreach and Education grant to start the Florida Microplastic Awareness Project. This citizen science project’s goal is to raise awareness about the sources of and threats posed by microplastics in the coastal environment. Volunteers are collecting and analyzing coastal water samples around the state, as well as teaching people how to reduce their contribution to the plastic problem. The project’s website is www.plasticaware.org
Plastic pollution in the oceans is an increasing environmental problem. Microplastics (plastic pieces smaller than 5 mm in size) are being found in fish and invertebrates. Where do they come from? Why do we care? What can we do about it? The Florida Microplastic Awareness Project aims to raise awareness about microplastics, in part by having citizen scientists collect and analyze coastal water samples for the presence of microplastics. Volunteers and others in the community are asked to reduce their consumption/disposal of plastics. Data from the project will be presented, along with information that has been learned about people's willingness to change their behavior and reduce their production of plastic waste.
Meetings start with refreshments at 6:30 pm and programs at 7:00 pm (unless otherwise noted)