Over 80 participants gathered for an Evening @ Skidaway program on Nov. 16 to hear about the emerging issue of microplastics.

Jay Brandes, a chemical oceanographer with Skidaway Institute of Oceanography talked about his Georgia Sea Grant-funded study on the prevalence of microplastics in Georgia waters, a vital step in addressing the issue and understanding its impact on coastal ecosystems. Brandes is working with Dodie Sanders, a marine educator at Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, to translate the research into educational materials for K-12 teachers and create techniques for studying microplastics in the classroom.

Maia McGuire, extension agent with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and Florida Sea Grant, discussed the Florida Microplastics Awareness Project that has mobilized coastal communities to monitor microplastics and minimize the amount of plastics they add to the environment.

The presentations sparked questions and conversations among the audience. The community outreach event is one of many important steps in fostering a more informed and engaged public that’s dedicated to maintaining a healthy coastal environment.

An “Evening @ Skidaway” is sponsored by the UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and the Associates of Skidaway Institute.