Microplastics threaten Great Lakes, and not just the water – By Lillian Young (Capital News Service) / January 23 2021
Lansing — Microplastic particles, typically studied as aquatic pollutants, are also common in coastal dunes on Great Lakes’ shorelines, according to a new study.
The situation is worse than researchers originally expected. Based on findings from the eastern shore of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, microplastic pollution is frequently transported from shore to coastal land.
What does that mean for the coastal ecosystems?
Nothing good, the study published in the “Journal of Great Lakes Research” suggests, highlighting that microplastics can obstruct animals’ digestive tracts and absorb, then trap, toxic chemicals.
The transfer of microplastics from lake to shore occurs because they’re generally less dense than water, the study said. This trait allows winds to move them easily to the shore.