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MICROPLASTIC ABUNDANCE IN SMALL MAN-MADE PONDS

Microplastics are small particles of plastic (< 5 mm) that have been shown to have negative impacts on aquatic ecosystems. The source and extent of microplastic accumulation in freshwater systems has not been completely described by current studies. Urban areas are a potentially significant source of plastic pollution because they concentrate human activity, which has been related to the type and amount of microplastics found in aquatic systems. We measure the amount of microplastic pollution in samples collected from small man-made ponds in central Virginia with contrasting hydrology to assess the degree that connections to surface water are a source of microplastic inputs. Our results Samples of microplastics from at least 3 ponds along a gradient of storm water input will be tested. At one extreme will be samples from a ground-water-fed pond that receives essentially no urban run-off, and at the other extreme samples from a storm water management pond with extensive urban run-off will be collected. The amounts of microplastics from the ponds will be compared and related to how much surface water run-off it receives.

Hannah Hatke (Primary Presenter/Author), Longwood University, hannah.hatke@live.longwood.edu;


Kenneth Fortino ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Longwood University, fortinok@longwood.edu;