Science Writer and Artist Erica Cirino speaks at Guild Hall in East Hampton July 15 at 7 p.m. about her research and upcoming book, “Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis” and her recent project with the Bridgehampton Childcare & Recreation Center on view in Guild Hall’s Education Corridor.

Appealing to readers of Carl Safina and Elizabeth Kolbert, “Thicker Than Water” is a nonfiction debut that takes you to the front lines of Earth’s plastic pollution crisis.

Plastic is everywhere—it’s in our food containers, keyboards, glasses, even our toothbrushes. It’s lightweight, versatile, and so cheap that we often forget how much it permeates our lives. 

But our relationship with plastic is not a healthy one, and our worldwide reliance on it is affecting our planet. The oceans swirl with plastic detritus; scientists have discovered dead whales with stomachs filled with plastic bags, seabirds eating plastic lights, and turtles suffocating on plastic straws stuck in their nostrils. 

Less obvious, but potentially just as deadly, are the plastics that break down in the ocean into small particles called microplastics. These tiny pieces contain toxic chemicals that are released into the bodies of wild animals and travel up the food chain into fish and other creatures, eventually making their way onto our plates and into our stomachs.

“Thicker Than Water” charts a course through some of the key sites in the fight against plastic pollution—from the ocean currents dotted with trillions of tiny plastic pieces to research centers across the globe working on plastic alternatives. Readers will be exposed to the shocking extent of plastic contamination, but will also be introduced to the scientists, advocates, innovators, and ordinary citizens who are trying to solve the problem.

Guild Hall is at 158 Main Street in East Hampton and admission is free with a suggested donation. Reservations are recommended at guildhall.org.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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