RiverWatch citizen scientists will play a vital role in mitigating the environmental threat of nurdles.EAST ALTON – The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center is partnering with Illinois RiverWatch for a virtual September Neighbor Nights.

Jace Tunnell, director of the Mission-Aransas Estuarine Research Reserve at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, will present information on a citizen science project called Nurdle Patrol.

Nurdles, a relatively new environmental issue, are tiny plastic pellets that serve as raw material in the manufacturing of plastic products. Nurdles wash up on beaches, riverbanks, and lake shorelines by the millions. Scientists are working to gather information about where nurdles are located, making volunteers and citizen scientists a vital part of the effort.

“We are thrilled to learn from Jace Tunnell, who is a leading expert in this research,” said RiverWatch Director and Stream Ecologist Danelle Haake. “We look forward to hearing more about how the people of Illinois can work together to protect the animals in our rivers and streams from plastic pollution.”

September Neighbor Nights will take place virtually at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 21.

Those who wish to attend can register at https://conta.cc/3ym64ae. The link to attend the presentation will be emailed to registrants prior to the event.

For more information, contact Director of Environmental Education Sarah Fisher at saafisher@lc.edu.

National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC?)

Founded in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center is dedicated to the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds, and their associated communities.

To learn more about NGRREC, visit http://www.ngrrec.org.

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