Izzy Gaw | Nantucket, MA

The Debris Diet: How Microplastics are Infiltrating the Marine Food Chain with Izzy Gaw

One of the most pervasive anthropogenic stressors facing marine life today is plastic debris. In 2010, an estimated 4.8 to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic waste entered the ocean, and these input estimates are slated to increase by an order of magnitude by 2025. One of the most challenging aspects of marine debris management is that over time plastics break down into microplastics (<5 mm in size) for which the total degradation time is unknown. Not only are these ubiquitous microplastics contaminating marine fauna and their habitats, but they also have the potential to absorb pollutants thus posing a threat to ocean food webs. After fauna ingest these pollutant-absorbent microplastics, the toxins can bioaccumulate and biomagnify, which can negatively affect fish behavior and physiology. While the effects of pollutant-absorbent microplastics are relatively well studied, the baseline physiological effects of uncontaminated plastics are not well understood. This talk will explore how fauna ingest these microplastics and what happens to the microplastics inside their bodies.


Mar 10 2021


7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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2021 Annual Events

  • April 23 – 25, Daffodil Festival
  • May 19 – 23, Wine Festival
  • June 17 – 20, Nantucket Preservation Month
  • June, Book Festival
  • July 3 – Independence Day Festivities; Downtown Celebration and Independence Day Fireworks
  • July 13 – 15, Nantucket Garden Festival
  • July 15 – 17, Comedy Festival
  • July 17 – 28, Film Festival
  • July, Nantucket Art and Artisan Show
  • July 19 – 24, Dance Festival
  • August 5 – 7, NHA’s Nantucket by Design
  • August 14, Boston Pops
  • August 14 -22, Nantucket Race Week
  • August 22, Opera House Cup
  • August, Marine Life Release Day
  • October 9, Cranberry Festival
  • November, NHA’s Festival of Wreaths
  • December, Christmas Stroll
  • December, NHA’s Festival of Trees