Here’s the catch on urban fishing

Polidoro wears lab coat and smiles at camera while leaning against lab counterBeth Polidoro, ASU New College professor and Center for Biodiversity Outcomes associate director of biodiversity valuation and assessments, was recently featured in an ASU Now article about her recent discovery of chemical pollutants in the urban lakes of Phoenix. Polidoro and her team found contaminants in fish such as phlates (microplastics), PAHs (such as car emissions or forest fire combusted materials), pesticides and metals. This comes as a health concern for much of the public since the majority of urban fisherman eat the fish they catch. This also poses an even larger threat to minorities and lower-income communities. She states, “We’re finding a larger suite of contaminants in these fish that we would want to be included in a comprehensive monitoring program, not just mercury.” But what needs to be done? Polidoro suggests reducing pesticide use, single-use plastics and fossil fuel emissions in large urban fields such as golf courses, sports fields and parks. By engaging with the students, the community and youth, she hopes to educate generations to serve their environment and seek out STEM opportunities. Read the full article here. [Image source]