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Informal science talk to address PFAS in the Green Bay watershed

In the April installment of Wisconsin Sea Grant’s “Lake Talks,” Sarah Balgooyen will discuss “Forever Chemicals: PFAS in the Green Bay Watershed.”

The Lake Talks are informal, interactive science presentations on Great Lakes issues, especially those involving Lake Michigan. In light of the ongoing pandemic, spring 2021 Lake Talks are being offered via Zoom.

Balgooyen will speak Thursday, April 15, from 7-8 p.m. (Register now for this Zoom webinar.)

Dr. Sarah Balgooyen at work in a laboratory on the UW-Madison campus. (Photo: Bonnie Willison)

PFAS are a category of chemicals frequently found in firefighting foams, Teflon and many other common products. They are a hot topic in water research because they are estimated to contaminate the drinking water of 16.5 million people in the United States alone, and much more needs to be understood about these chemicals.

One site of concern in Wisconsin is the Tyco Fire Products facility in Marinette. These concerns involve not only drinking water from private wells in the area, but also the possibility for contaminants to get into the bay of Green Bay and, ultimately, out into Lake Michigan.

Balgooyen, who completed her Ph.D. at UW-Madison in 2019, has been studying this area as the J. Philip Keillor Water Science Fellow at Wisconsin Sea Grant.

In this informal talk geared toward a general audience, Balgooyen will talk about her research process and what she’s found so far. There will also be time during the hour for audience questions. This Zoom webinar is free and open to all.

For connection information for future talks, visit the Lake Talks page of the Wisconsin Sea Grant website, or follow Wisconsin Sea Grant on Facebook or Twitter. You can register for Sarah Balgooyen’s talk now.

For questions about this series, contact Wisconsin Sea Grant science communicator Jennifer Smith.