LESS: The Problem with Plastics
An estimated 10,000 tons of plastic pollution enter the Great Lakes each year. Unprecedented use of plastics is resulting in significant global impacts to human and environment health. Of increasing concern are microscopic pieces of plastic known as microplastics and the chemicals associated with these plastics.
Join Jill Bartolotta and Dr. Scott Hardy, Extension Educators for the Ohio Sea Grant College Program, for this Lakeside Environmental Stewardship Society Seminar (LESS), titled “The Problem with Plastics.” This seminar will take place 1:30-3 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 in Orchestra Hall.
Bartolotta and Dr. Hardy explain the impact of plastic pollution on the Great Lakes and discuss science-based solutions based on their research of societies over and misuse of single-use plastics and consumer support for pro environmental policies and business strategies. Simple steps on how to reduce your own use of plastics and phase these toxins out of your life will also be provided to participants.
Jill Bartolotta, Extension Educator for Ohio Sea Grant, works with municipalities, scientists and the public to collaboratively support Lake Erie communities through research, outreach and education. Her research and education programs focus on plastic pollution prevention and mitigation.
As a native to the shores of Lake Erie, Bartolotta first learned about aquatic systems through kayaking on the lake and taking classes at Stone Laboratory. This spurred an interest in coastal resource management, and she decided to move to New Hampshire to pursue her interest in marine and freshwater ecosystems.
She earned a dual degree in wildlife conservation biology and outdoor education with a minor in marine biology and a masters in coastal ecosystem science, policy and management from the University of New Hampshire.
Scott Hardy, PhD, is an Extension Educator with the Ohio Sea Grant College Program based in Cleveland, Ohio. He conducts applied research and develops education and outreach programs on collaborative watershed management, coastal storm resiliency, community-based response to ecological change, and other issues facing Lake Erie and the Great Lakes region. The results of his work help to inform decision-making among practitioners and policymakers, as well as educate local and regional stakeholders about issues impacting Lake Erie, its tributaries, and the surrounding watershed.
Dr. Hardy also participates in community-based environmental efforts and service to scientific advisory boards. Most prominently, he serves as Chairman of Education & Outreach for the Cuyahoga River Area of Concern Advisory Committee and has contributed to regional collaborative efforts addressing plastic marine debris, climate action planning, water technology innovation, safe oil transportation and social equity.
Dr. Hardy also has extensive classroom experience teaching undergraduate and graduate students, as well as with creating educational programs for nontraditional learners and the public. In each case, he strives to engage students in real-world problem solving and create avenues for pursuing personal interests. This semester, he is teaching a seminar at Case Western Reserve University that emphasizes critical thinking, written and oral communication, and engagement with ethical issues in relation to the environment.