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Water samples from Casco Bay reveal widespread low levels of PFAS

More than 100 water samples taken from 18 sites in Casco Bay last year showed low levels of PFAS.

Friends of Casco Bay and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences are conducting a three-year study on so called "forever chemicals" in the Bay and their sources and impacts on the marine environment.

Bigelow Laboratory Senior Research Scientist Christoph Aeppli analyzed the samples.

"The interesting thing we found there is that the concentration is pretty uniform across Casco Bay. So whether you're in Portland Harbor on the working waterfront or around the Harpswell peninsula, it's a pretty uniform, relatively low concentration," Aeppli said.

Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca said the next step is to find the sources of the PFAS. She said sampling this year will focus on sampling water and sediment at key sites.

"We drew together a team of experts from throughout the lower Casco Bay watershed. And we selected 70 sites and we'll monitor those 70 sites for water sampling," she said.

Frignoca said 50 samples of sediment will be tested for PFAS. The three-year study will also look at PFAS impacts on the marine environment.

A Maine Sea Grant funded the 2023 research effort.

Friends of Casco Bay will hold an online webinar to discuss the three-year study and PFAS results in detail on Thursday, March 21 at 8 am. Register hereto get a link to attend.