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Sherri Mason, Associate Professor of Chemistry at SUNY Fredonia, studies micro plastic pollution across the Great Lakes. Micro plastics are introduced to the lakes through consumer products and poor waste management practices. Mason collects samples on the open waters of the lakes. In an informal survey of lake Erie shore at Wright Park Beach in Dunkirk, NY Mason found large items like soda bottles, plastic bags and many plastic fragments. She also found Nurdles. small pebble like pre-production plastics formed at oil refineries and shipped to factorires where  plastic products are produced. Photo: Brendan Bannon, Dunkirk, NY 12/3/2013