Last week the Bahamas National Trust hosted Kristal Ambrose, Aquaponics Technician at Cape Eleuthera Institute, as a public meeting guest speaker. The topic for the evening featured her internship to study plastics in the North Pacific Western Garbage Patch, an area highly concentrated with plastic debris and an environmental issue only just beginning to be studied by scientists. Kristal recounted her expedition, which sought to answer questions that explore what happens to plastics that enter the ocean, from ingestion by marine life, to absorption of harmful pollutants. The opportunity to share this experience with a Bahamian audience was especially important to Kristal, as her primary goal following this study is to find real solutions through education, research and outreach projects in her home country. After peaking the interest of one attendee at the BNT meeting, Kristal was approached to also share her experience with students at St. Andrews School where she spoke to two classes on Friday.

Kristal’s study was supported by the BNT, Bahamas Reef Environment Foundation (BREEF) and The Nature Conservancy, all of whom were represented at the meeting Wednesday night. Also in attendance were the Young Marine Explorers, a non-profit environmental organization that provides transformational educational experiences to Bahamian youth. With support from these organizations, Kristal aims to continue to raise awareness and work together on future projects, such as community beach clean ups around the Bahamas. She remarked, “I believe that sharing my experience helps to create recognition of this very important issue right here in this country. I am excited to keep up the momentum with future projects and collaborations.”

You can read more about Kristal’s internship from earlier posts on blog on May 3 and May 14.