Ray, C. (2020). An assessment of macroplastic litter surrounding four freshwater lakes in Columbus, Georgia. The Young Researcher, 4 (1), 50-61.
The United Nations Environment Programme identifies plastic pollution as a major environmental issue (Blettler, Ulla, Rabuffetti, & Garello, 2017). Despite this, researchers note a distinct lack of research regarding plastic pollution in the world’s freshwater ecosystems (Blettler et al., 2017). The purpose of this study was to find the concentrations and characteristics of shoreline plastic pollution surrounding four public lakes in Columbus, Georgia. A plastic debris assessment was conducted per guidelines from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) (Lip- piatt, Opfer, and Arthur 2013). The average concentration of macroplastic debris amongst the four sample lakes was 0.151 particles per m2, and the primary functional use of this debris was foam food containers. Out of the four sample lakes, Cooper Creek Lake had the highest concentration of macroplastic debris with 0.41 items per m2, or 205 items in an area of 500 m2.
Keywords: plastic pollution, lakes, freshwater plastic, macroplastic, lakeshore.