Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Discovery Lecture Series

Friday, April 5, 2019
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

There is a great future in plastics: So what’s the big (and little) deal?

By Shelly Moore, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP)

“There is a great future in plastics.” This memorable quote from the 1967 movie The Graduate could not be truer today – it just depends on your definition of great. Plastics are a huge part of our world today. They are cheap to produce, extremely useful, and last forever. Therein lies the problem. From product packaging to plastic bags and food containers to medical supplies, there is a wide array of single-use plastics persisting in our world today. Studies done throughout the world have identified plastic as the most common type of trash found in aquatic environments. While most are familiar with the large plastic items affecting the aesthetic value of an area, microplastics are gaining attention as they have been found not only in our oceans, but also in our drinking water and even our poop. Ms. Moore will describe studies done here in Southern California to identify the types of trash and plastic and how much is being found in our rivers and oceans, as well as what is being done to address the problem.

Shelly Moore is a scientist with the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) located in Costa Mesa, CA. Her research focuses on trash and marine debris. She is currently leading regional studies as part of the Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program to examine trash in rivers and streams and in the ocean. She is also working on a project in partnership with the Ocean Protection Council, State Water Resources Control Board, and the San Francisco Estuary Institute to develop and evaluate monitoring methods for trash in our rivers and streams. She joined SCCWRP in 1994 and received her B.S. in Marine Biology in 1991 and M.S. in Biology in 1998 from California State University, Long Beach.

This lecture is sponsored by Chicken of the Sea.

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