ORK launches first-ever study of microplastic pollution on the Ottawa River

Media advisory, written for Ottawa Riverkeeper in 2016.

Ottawa Riverkeeper invites members of the press to join us on the Ottawa River as we conduct the first-ever study of microplastic pollution on Canada’s most recently designated Heritage River. In collaboration with researchers from Carleton University and with financial support from Ottawa Wave Makers, we are shedding light on the extent of the Ottawa’s microplastic pollution (i.e. microbeads, fibers, and fragments less than 5mm diameter).

Microplastic pollution is rampant in our oceans, and recent studies of inland waterways clearly indicate that the problem extends to our lakes and rivers. However, the extent of the issue in the Ottawa River has never been examined. We are studying the distribution of microplastics pollution in the Ottawa River watershed in order to work towards solutions that reduce plastic pollution in our waterways.

On August 24, with the Parliament buildings as a backdrop, we will be conducting a live demonstration of our microplastics sampling using a manta trawl, a large net system with a fine mesh net used to collect surface water samples for scientific study. Ottawa Riverkeeper’s Staff Scientist and Director of Operations for Quebec will be on hand to answer questions, along with our collaborators from Carleton University and volunteer citizen scientists involved in the project.

Event Info:

Date: August 24, 2016
Location: Ottawa Rowing Club, 10 Lady Grey Drive, Ottawa, ON

  • 8:45 a.m. – Arrival and introductions.
  • 9:00 a.m. – Boat and driver (courtesy of Ottawa Rowing Club) will take media out to view and record while Ottawa Riverkeeper’s Staff Scientist and collaborating researchers sample for microplastics from the Ottawa Riverkeeper patrol boat.
  • 9:30 a.m. – Return to shore for interviews and questions.