Jay Brandes gave the keynote presentation at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Southeastern Region’s 15th Annual Meeting in Brunswick, Ga., in late September. His topic was “Microplastics in Georgia’s estuaries: a preliminary assessment.”
Jay’s presentation focused on how marine debris and associated plastic contamination of the marine environment has become an ever-increasing source of concern for scientists and the public. Over the last decade, focus has been placed on the issue of microplastics and their impacts upon the environment. Jay and his colleagues, including Dodie Sanders from Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, and UGA grad student Jacob Mabrey, have begun a preliminary assessment of the distribution and types of microplastic contamination in Georgia’s estuaries, biota and sediments during the last 2 years. While microplastics are ubiquitous in the environment, their distribution is very patchy,, providing some clues regarding both sources and loss mechanisms.