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Indian River Lagoon Shellfish Have World’s Highest-Known Numbers Of Microplastics. Researchers Ask Why

Pineda Causeway, Indian River Lagoon. Photo: Matthew Peddie. WMFE

Indian River Lagoon shellfish have the highest-known numbers of microplastics in the world, and researchers want to know why.

Microplastics are plastics measuring less than five millimeters in length. The new research expands upon an earlier study of oysters in the Mosquito Lagoon, at the Indian River Lagoon’s north end.

University of Central Florida Biologist Linda Walters says the results were shocking.

“There were an average of over 16 pieces of plastic per oyster, which is really disgusting if you think about it.”

She says one theory is that with little ocean flow, the Indian River Lagoon is a place where microplastics can accumulate. Researchers want to know whether the problem spans the lagoon.


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »