Presenter Information

Liana SmithFollow

Major

Biology

Anticipated Graduation Year

2021

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

Anthropogenic litter (i.e., trash; AL) pollution is pervasive at a global scale and impacts environmental and public health. Freshwaters are polluted by AL, and are key vectors of AL from land to oceans, but are less well studied than marine ecosystems. In summer 2020, volunteers collected AL in the Chicago River at three habitats: seawall, bank, and floating wetlands. Volunteers recorded collected AL by material (e.g., plastic, styrofoam, metal, cloth) and source activity (e.g., smoking, food, medical/hygiene,), and effort (i.e., person-hours for each clean up). We found no difference among habitats, that plastic and styrofoam were most abundant AL type, and no clear pattern in abundance relative to rainfall.

Community Partners

Shedd Aquarium

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Timothy Hoellein, Associate Professor, Department of Biology

Supported By

LUROP

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Citizen Science Datasets Reveal Anthropogenic Litter Distribution Among Chicago River Habitats

Anthropogenic litter (i.e., trash; AL) pollution is pervasive at a global scale and impacts environmental and public health. Freshwaters are polluted by AL, and are key vectors of AL from land to oceans, but are less well studied than marine ecosystems. In summer 2020, volunteers collected AL in the Chicago River at three habitats: seawall, bank, and floating wetlands. Volunteers recorded collected AL by material (e.g., plastic, styrofoam, metal, cloth) and source activity (e.g., smoking, food, medical/hygiene,), and effort (i.e., person-hours for each clean up). We found no difference among habitats, that plastic and styrofoam were most abundant AL type, and no clear pattern in abundance relative to rainfall.