Help Us Detect Microplastics in Our Rivers

Winter on the Gallatin. (Photo by Emily Stifler Wolfe)

For two years, my organization Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation has engaged ocean goers to collect surface water samples from the oceans, finding more than 93 percent of the samples contaminated with plastic debris.

We are now a finalist for the Alpine Initiatives Grassroots Grant, which we hope to use to expand our microplastics project to freshwater, starting at home in the Gallatin Watershed, Montana. ASC will mobilize boaters, skiers and hikers to study the sources of microplastic pollution in the Gallatin Watershed, working to limit this massive environmental threat.

Cruising down the Gallatin in duckies. (Photo courtesy of Montana Whitewater)
Cruising the Gallatin (Photo courtesy of Montana Whitewater)

We will recruit and train up to 100 volunteer adventure scientists to collect samples from the headwaters to the Gallatin’s confluence with the Jefferson and Madison rivers in Three Forks, where they form the Missouri River.

Through consumer awareness, strategic partnerships and legislative action, we will reduce the amount of plastic entering the largest watershed in the country.

Help us in the final push, and vote for us to win a $5,000 Alpine Initiatives Grassroots Grant.

Learn more about this and other ASC projects on our website, the Field Notes blog, and by following us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Google+. Find more about Christophe and Clement’s ocean row at

Read More by Gregg Treinish and His Correspondents

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Meet the Author
Gregg Treinish founded Adventure Scientists in 2011 with a strong passion for both scientific discovery and exploration. National Geographic named Gregg Adventurer of the Year in 2008 when he and a friend completed a 7,800-mile trek along the spine of the Andes Mountain Range. He was included on the Christian Science Monitor's 30 under 30 list in 2012, and the following year became a National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work with Adventure Scientists. In 2013, he was named a Backpacker Magazine "hero", in 2015, a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur and one of Men's Journal's "50 Most Adventurous Men." In 2017, he was named an Ashoka Fellow and in 2018 one of the Grist 50 "Fixers." Gregg holds a biology degree from Montana State University and a sociology degree from CU-Boulder. He thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2004. Read more updates from Gregg and others on the Adventure Scientists team at Follow Adventure Scientists on Instagram @adventurescientists, on Facebook @adventurescientists, and on Twitter @AdvScientists.