Georgia Mangan Helps FOS Monitor Microplastics in IRL Waters

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The sky’s the limit for Georgia Mangan, a retired office administrator who began her Florida Oceanographic Society volunteer career bagging oyster shells with the FLOOR program, and has quickly expanded her responsibilities and service hours. “I love the range of projects you can get involved in here,” says Georgia. “There’s something for every interest and every amount of time you’re able to give.” 

In the nearly three years Georgia has been with FOS, she’s helped with FLOOR, community outreach events, beach cleanups, and recently started as an exhibit guide. She’s also become a citizen scientist, following a monthly water monitoring protocol near Gilbert’s House of Refuge, for a microplastics research program with the Indian River lagoon Council. The data and water samples Georgia and other FOS volunteers collect are being used to quantify the problem and inform possible solutions regarding microplastics. At less than 1/8 of an inch in size, microplastics are a serious threat to ecosystem health. They’re found in everything from synthetic clothes to skincare products to food containers. 

Before Georgia and her husband Barry retired to Port St. Lucie in 2016, she had several volunteer roles in New Jersey that took her outdoors, including a local environmental center, community Park & Rec, and Habitat for Humanity. Now that Barry’s become a part-time groundskeeper at Heathcote Botanical Gardens, Georgia feels free to devote more of her time to FOS. The couple loves exploring Florida on beach walks, hikes and driving tours. 

Georgia’s always on the hunt for historic places. “I really enjoy walking around old settlements and cemeteries and finding tombstones that date back to the Revolutionary War era,” she says. “I’ve got an interest in history - pirates, the Civil War, western frontier, and Native Americans. This is a time in my life when there’s so much more I want to learn about, and so much more I want to do, especially for FOS.” 

 

Georgia Mangan Snapshot 

Hometown: Jersey City, NJ 

East Coast Family: A son in NYC, a daughter and two grandkids in NJ 

Free time faves: Reading, gardening, hiking, exploring the outdoors 

Best book: A Land Remembered, by Patrick D. Smith 

Go-to trails: Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Oxbow Eco-Center