Two years ago, Mark Fisher was out kayaking on Lake Superior with his family when they decided to stop on a remote island for lunch.
But what should have been a pristine picnic spot, far from busy marinas or industry, turned out to be covered with pre-production plastic pellets, washed up on the beach after a train derailment years earlier.
Fisher was disturbed. But, he says, those pellets represent the tip of the plastic iceberg.
“On an annual basis, roughly 20 million pounds of plastic are finding their way into the Great Lakes on both sides of the border,” he said. “We found [that] quite alarming.”
In his role as president and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region, Fisher is now helping to lead a project to collect some of that plastic from marinas around the province using two kinds of trash-trapping technology: Seabins and Littatraps.