The Problem with Polystyrene

Lake Morey Needs Your Help!!

The LMPA, in support of providing strong stewardship of Lake Morey, is highly encouraging the use of best practices on and around the lake. This includes programs such as Adopt-a-Lake and the Greeter programs which are aimed at invasive species mitigation.

Adding to our list of best practices  the permanent removal the permanent removal and disuse of all seasonal polystyrene (petroleum based foam) docks and mats which fragment and litter our shorelines, fragile reed beds and marsh habitats. 

Polystyrene is harmful to overall water quality, shoreline aesthetics, and to all fish and wildlife that unintentionally ingest it.

There are solutions and we can fix this problem on Lake Morey by removing all unencapsulated foam billets and large floating mats from our lake immediately (before another serious mishap occurs) and replace them with more eco-friendly alternatives. Hard polyethylene fully encapsulated floats can replace open (unencapsulated) foam billets. Likewise, large floating foam mats/pads also degrade and/or get gnawed by otters, muskrats and other critters and so should also be removed for the same reasons.

Additionally, be on the lookout for foam pieces that are still floating in the water or have settled onto shorelines and into reed beds, and please gather and remove them from the lake. Polystyrene (float material) comes in many colors, most common being blue, yellow and white. If not removed, they will likely remain an environmental hazard for decades, and will have a harmful consequences on the fish and wildlife that consume them.

Please consider reporting any sightings you may have or any clean-up you may do of polystyrene, so we can keep a record. It would be great to see the number of occurrences go down overtime. Send an email to info@lakemorey.org

Pictures along Lake Morey shoreline in 2022

Pictures taken on Lake Morey and along shoreline in 2021

Further reading:

The problem with un‐encapsulated polystyrene – Styrofoam – in dock floats by Camden Conservation Commission – 04/20/2017 

https://www.penbaypilot.com/article/problem-un-encapsulated-polystyrene-styrofoam-dock-floats/85080