(Photo: Ethan Andrews)
(Photo: Ethan Andrews)
Sears Island on March 23, three months after a spill at nearby Sprague Terminal that left the beach littered with mounds of shredded plastic that had been bound for the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. incinerator in Orrington. Much of the plastic was cleaned from the beach, or in the case of an intact bale that was located by divers, never got into the water column. But environmental advocates believe some amount of the material became a permanent part of the bay ecosystem. A 2013 study by the Marine & Environmental Research Institute in Blue Hill found an average of 17 pieces of microplastics per liter of Penobscot Bay water.