Sampling for Possible Microplastic Occurrence in the South Saskatchewan River
To date, there have been no studies on microplastics in the South Saskatchewan River watershed. The South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards (SSRWSI) received funding through the City of Saskatoon and the Fish and Wildlife Development Fund to determine the presence or absence of microplastics in water sources: their type and quantities.
Partnering on this project are Dr. Markus Brinkmann, Assistant Professor School of Environment and Sustainability, and the Safe Drinking Water Foundation (SDWF). Dr. Brinkmann, his student and the SSRWSI technician are undertaking the fieldwork and SDWF will be supplying additional communications and educational materials.
A plankton net will be used to sample the water column at seven sample sites along the South Saskatchewan River within Saskatchewan, as well as three sites within the city and Beaver Creek Conservation Area. Sites funded by the City of Saskatoon will be sampled monthly May through August while sites along the river funded by the Fish and Wildlife Development Fund will be sampled in May and possibly June.
On May 20th the first sampling occurred in Saskatoon at the Meewasin Northeast Swale, Aspen Ridge Forebay, Evergreen Stormwater Pond and Beaver Creek Conservation Area. Thank you to the Meewasin Valley Authority for helping with access at several sites. The following day samples were taken upstream and downstream of Outlook and at the Fred Heal Canoe Launch near Saskatoon. On May 28th and 29th the first month of sampling was completed with sampling upstream and downstream of Cabri, at the Clarkboro Ferry crossing and downstream of St. Louis.
This project will provide baseline data on microplastics in the South Saskatchewan River watershed helping inform future work and projects.