» Pollution Prevention

Microplastics in agricultural soils: A reason to worry?

Microplastics are increasingly seen as an environmental problem of global proportions. While the focus to date has been on microplastics in the ocean and their effects on marine life, microplastics in soils have largely been overlooked. Researchers are concerned about the lack of knowledge regarding potential consequences of microplastics in agricultural landscapes from application of sewage sludge. Read More

The Extent and Effects of Mercury Pollution in the Great Lakes Region

The Great Lakes Commission sponsored a binational scientific synthesis effort through its U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-funded Great Lakes Air Deposition program. The purpose of the synthesis project was to foster binational collaboration among mercury researchers and resource managers from government, academic, and nonprofit institutions to compile a wide variety of mercury data for the Great Lakes region, and to address key questions concerning mercury contamination, the bioaccumulation of methylmercury in food webs, and the resulting exposures and risks. The synthesis effort began in November of 2008 and has involved more than 170 scientists and managers working to compile and evaluate more than 300,000 mercury measurements and to conduct new modeling and analyses. This synthesis provides a comprehensive overview of the sources, cycling, and impacts of mercury in the Great Lakes region. The primary results of this initiative have been published in a series of more than 35 scientific papers in the journals Ecotoxicology and Environmental Pollution and are distilled here for use by decision makers and the public. Read More

Global Mercury Hotspots New Evidence Reveals Mercury Contamination Regularly Exceeds Health Advisory Levels in Humans and Fish Worldwide

Mercury is a well-known neurotoxin that damages the kidneys and many body systems including the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, hematologic, immune, and reproductive systems (UNEP/WHO 2008). IPEN and Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) have collaborated to conduct a global mercury study in response to strong public and governmental interest in the negotiation and signing of a mercury treaty— the first global treaty on the environment in well over a decade by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The IPEN-BRI collaboration provides a rare opportunity to compile new and standardized mercury concentrations on a global basis. The Global Fish and Community Mercury Monitoring Project is the first of its kind to identify, in one collaborative effort, global biological mercury hotspots. These hotspots are of particular concern to human populations. Read More

Mercury in the Global Environment

Mercury, the Marine Environment, and Risk of Human Exposure Mercury (Hg) is a pollutant of global importance that adversely affects human health and the environment. Environmental concentrations of mercury have increased three-fold due to anthropogenic activities, and the world’s oceans are one of the primary reservoirs where mercury is deposited (Mason et al. 2012). People are commonly exposed to mercury through the consumption of shellfish, fish, and some marine mammals. However, there is a gap in our understanding of the relationship between anthropogenic releases of mercury and its subsequent biomagnification and bioaccumulation in seafood such as lobster, tuna, and swordfish. Determining how that translates to human exposure and risk on local, regional, and global scales is essential. Read More

Environmental Politics and Law (Yale Open Courseware)

Can law change human behavior to be less environmentally damaging? Law will be examined through case histories including: environmental effects of national security, pesticides, air pollution, consumer products, plastics, parks and protected area management, land use, urban growth and sprawl, public/private transit, drinking water standards, food safety, and hazardous site restoration in this free online class. In each case we will review the structure of law and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. Read More

EPA Envirofacts

Envirofacts is a single point of access to select U.S. EPA environmental data. This website provides access to several EPA databases to provide you with information about environmental activities that may affect air, water, and land anywhere in the United States. With Envirofacts, you can learn more about these environmental activities in your area or you can generate maps of environmental information. Read More


Information on a combination of solutions for managing waste with details on the recycling steps, collection and processing, manufacturing, and purchasing of recycled products. Read More

Adventures of the Garbage Gremlin

This is an online, 16-page, comic-strip story of the Garbage Gremlin and his efforts to stop a school from creating a recycling program. Also available in downloadable comic-book format, http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/education/kids/gremlin/gremlin.pdf Read More


Basic information on the reducing and recycling of electronics, including locations of regional and state recycling programs. Read More

Planet Protectors Club for Kids

Activities to teach kids in grades K-6 about recycling and waste reduction. Read More


EERL's mission is to be the best possible online collection of environmental and energy sustainability resources for community college educators and for their students. The resources are also available for practitioners and the public.


EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu