Jennifer Pate of Bayfield is a geographer, entrepreneur and co-founder of an organization deeply concerned about pollution in the Great Lakes. She started “Love Your Greats” in 2015 as a diverse initiative aimed at raising awareness about pollution, especially micro plastics and chemical toxics.
She and a group of environmentalists have been collecting data in all five Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair and the St. Lawrence River and the results have been nothing short of alarming.
“Our research has led to the awareness that we are polluting in a whole new way with a whole new material … plastic,” says Pate who has sailed all the waterways collecting samples.
She says the problem with plastic is it doesn’t bio degrade, it photo degrades into smaller and smaller pieces that scatter across the surface of the lakes and end up in fish and aquatic organisms.
Pate says the Great Lakes are magnificent but unfortunately since the dawn of the industrial revolution they have been used as a dumping ground and waste disposal area and plastics have aggravated an ever-growing problem.
She says, “because plastics are so small, understanding the realities of the problem are so difficult. We are attempting to make people aware by making the unseen (micro plastics) seen. Thereby raising awareness”.
Pate’s awareness campaign rolls into Sarnia April 25. She will present her findings to the public at the Sarnia Library at 7pm.
Admission is free. The sponsors are the Sarnia Rotary Club, Bluewaterland Rotary Club and the After Hours Rotary Club.