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White Iron Chain Of Lakes Association

News & Updates Blog

Webinar on Microplastics in Minnesota’s Inland Waters on January 21, 2021

Upcoming Webinar: Small Synthetics II - An update on a Study of Microplastics in Minnesota's Inland Waters, including White Iron Lake

Where: Comfort of own home, via Zoom

When: Thursday, January 21st from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Registration is required:

Presentation Summary: This webinar is the second in a series about microplastics research in Minnesota lakes. Dr. Kathryn Schreiner and master's candidate Peter Conowall will provide a research update on the project.

Microplastics are very small plastic particles, less than 5 millimeters (or 1/20th of an inch) in size. They come from common items such as degraded plastic bags, synthetic clothes and textiles, and some hygiene products. They are found across terrestrial, aquatic, and marine environments worldwide. These particles are speculated to negatively impact the aquatic environments and ecosystems; however, it is not known with certainty where these particles are in aquatic environments. Research is currently being done to learn how much and what kinds of microplastics are found in four Minnesota sentinel lakes: Peltier, Elk, White Iron, and Ten Mile. Additionally, the research project is designed to engage community members in part of the research process and communicate about microplastics and project results. So far, plastics have been found in the waters and on the bottom of the lake in the sediment of all four study lakes. In the fall of 2020, researchers will begin dissecting two types of fish to see if there are any plastics in their guts: 1) filter feeders (cisco) and 2) visual feeders (bluegill and perch). Fish will be collected by the research team and also by community members who are interested in collaborating on the project. Anglers can submit fish stomachs throughout the year for research staff to dissect and analyze for any microplastic consumption. More details, including how to join our citizen scientist team, can be found on our project website:

More about the project: The Legislative Citizen-Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) funded the two year long microplastics project in 2019, and it concludes 2021. The microplastics project team is led by Dr. Kathryn Schreiner, a researcher from the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), and comprises additional researchers from UMD, the Sentinel Lakes program coordinator from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and an extension staff from Minnesota Sea Grant. Questions about the project can be directed to: Dr. Kathryn Schreiner, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Questions about outreach can be directed to Marte Kitson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Did you miss the first webinar? You can find a link by visiting and clicking on the "Small Synthetics" link on the web page.

Can't make it? No problem. The presentation will be recorded and available at 

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