ASC volunteer kayakers on the Gallatin River

ASC trainer Guy Alsenzer and volunteer Andrew Daigh warm up on the Gallatin River before heading to their sampling sites. (Photo by Henry Worobec)

This past weekend, 56 local hikers, climbers and boaters trained with ASC staff and guides for the launch of our Gallatin Microplastics Initiative. Hiking and paddling hundreds of miles over two days, the volunteers gathered 130 samples from 69 sites in the Gallatin River and its tributaries.

“Without the volunteers, I would never be able to collect this many samples in such a short amount of time,” said ASC microplastics lead researcher Abby Barrows. “[This project] will greatly accelerate our knowledge of microplastic pollution in the Gallatin Watershed.” 

Between the two days, nearly 60 volunteers gathered samples for the Gallatin Microplastics Initiative. (Photo by Emily Stifler Wolfe)

Fording the upper Gallatin River in Yellowstone. (Photo by Colleen Ferris)

ASC volunteers learn protocols from scientist Abby Barrows during the Gallatin Microplastics Initiative training

Barrows reviews protocols during sampling. (Photo by Grace Matelich)

Volunteers will revisit in December, March and June, experiencing the river and its tributaries in different water levels and seasons. This research will offer a look into the headwaters of the largest river system of the United States, allowing us to act locally to reduce microplastic pollution, while thinking globally. 

Click here to explore our interactive map and learn about each site:

Learn more about the Gallatin Microplastics Initiative and other ASC projects on our website
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