A poor visibility day at Acadia National Park. Air pollution is the topic of the next MDI Science Café. PHOTO COURTESY OF MDI BIOLOGICAL LABORATORY

MDI Science Cafe to shed light on air quality

BAR HARBOR — Bill Gawley, the program manager of Acadia National Park’s Air and Water Resources Program, will discuss air quality at the park at an MDI Science Café to be held on Wednesday, May 4, at McKay’s Public House at 5:30 p.m. The talk, entitled “What’s in the Air? Air Quality Monitoring at Acadia National Park,” will address the park’s air pollution monitoring program and the effects of pollutants on park resources.

Most people think of Acadia National Park as a pristine natural environment, but in fact, more than 30 years of air quality monitoring has shown that Acadia National Park has some of the highest air pollution levels in the Northeast.

The park suffers from high levels of ozone and particulates, which affect visibility, public health and vegetation; elevated levels of nitrogen and sulfur, which contribute to the acidification of park ecosystems; and high concentrations of mercury, a toxic metal that affects the health of reptiles, amphibians, fish and birds.

“In observance of Acadia’s centennial, many of our 2016 MDI Science Cafés feature topics that are relevant to the park,” said Kevin Strange, president of the MDI Biological Laboratory.

MDI Science Cafés, sponsored by Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, Cross Insurance and McKay’s Public House, are open to the public and free of charge. Refreshments will be available. Visit www.mdibl.org or call 288-3147.

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