Carleton professor finds high levels of microfibres in Ottawa River

In September, Carleton researchers found high levels of micro plastics after surveying 500 kilometres of the Ottawa River. In more recent studies, research shows that now plastic micro fibres that originate from fleece, athletic wear, and synthetic materials are the main problem. Jesse Vermaire, Carleton professor of environmental science and environmental studies who completed the research, said he narrowed the issue down to microfibres by counting the plastics that were retained in the filter under a microscope. “We were really surprised at how many were there and that we found them in every sample,” he said via email. Vermaire said the department is not sure how the microfibre got in the river in the first place, but a possibility is […]

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Toxic algae found in Rideau Canal

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recently issued a warning to people living around the Rideau Canal, after a recent test of the canal found toxic algae blooming in the water. Blue-green algae, sometimes called cyanobacteria, is a highly toxic type of algae that is harmful to ingest or touch, according to OPH. After the algae was found on Sept. 6, the public health agency issued a warning to avoid swimming in the water, touching it, or eating fish from the canal. Jesse Vermaire, a professor at Carleton who specializes in aquatic ecology, said in an email that the bacteria in the water was likely caused by the hot summer Ottawa had. He said that a bloom of bacteria only occurs when […]

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High levels of micro plastics found in Ottawa River

Ottawa RiverKeeper, a local environmental organization, recently surveyed 500 kilometres of the Ottawa River in order to test for microplastic levels in the water. Carleton environmental science assistant professor Jesse Vermaire was part of a team of 20 volunteers that helped complete the survey over the course of the summer. On average, 1.35 plastic pieces per 1,000 litres were found. According to Vermaire, the amount of microplastic found is greater than the number reported to be found in the Great Lakes. “What was really surprising to us is we find plastic in every single sample we analyzed,” he said. “This suggests that plastic pollution is prevalent in the Ottawa River.” According to Vermaire, this plastic pollution is because every year […]

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