Plastics and Chemicals in the Marine Environment: Effects on Seabirds in the Bering Sea and on Global Marine Ecosystem

January 25, 2017
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

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The toxic effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and other chemicals that concentrate in plastics are a concern for ocean ecosystems. Globally, at least 44% of seabird species are known to ingest plastics because seabirds and their prey mistake plastics for food, resulting in physical harm and exposure to harmful plastic-associated chemicals such as phthalates.

SeabirdCHEAKCallOn this call, Veronica Padula, graduate student at the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at University of Alaska Fairbanks/Anchorage discussed her research project investigating the effects of plastic marine debris on seabird communities in the Bering Sea, particularly exposure to harmful plastic-associated compounds such as phthalates, known hormone disrupters. Christie Keith, International Coordinator at Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) discussed the science and implications of chemicals in marine plastics and GAIA's international campaign on marine plastics.

Featured Speakers

VeronicaPadulaVeronica Padula, MS, was born and raised in New Jersey, where she studied ecology, evolution and environmental biology at Columbia University in NYC. Ms. Padula became passionate about birds after interning with Wildlife Trust where she investigated the health of black-crowned night herons in New York Harbor. She later worked on a marbled murrelet project in Southeast Alaska. Veronica received her Master's in Fisheries from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) in 2013. Ms. Padula is currently working on her PhD at the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at UAF, investigating the impacts of plastic marine debris on seabirds from the Bering Sea.

ChristieKeithChristie Keith International Coordinator and the Executive Director of our US office of Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA). Ms. Keith joined GAIA in 2005, and has 25 years of experience with social movements and international non-profit organizations. She began her work in Guatemala as a popular educator, program coordinator, and strategic planning facilitator for groups in the women's movement and Mayan-campesino organizing community, as well as in international human rights. For the last 15 years Ms. Keith has worked from the US on international waste, public health, and environmental justice issues.

This call was hosted by the CHE-AK Partnership. It lasted for one hour and was recorded for the call archive.