Our Rivers On Drugs

Join the Cary Institute and ecologist Emma Rosi, PhD, on October 13 at 11:00am for a presentation on how prescription and illicit drugs impact freshwater quality, aquatic food webs, and the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, and how citizens can make a difference.

Pharmaceutical pollution can alter the biology and behavior of aquatic life in many ways. Hormonal compounds found in birth control have been shown to feminize fish. Antidepressant exposure can alter fish feeding behavior, incite aggression, and can make tadpoles more susceptible to predation. Cary-led studies have found that antidepressants and amphetamines disrupt the lifecycle of aquatic insects and antibiotics shift the composition of stream bacteria.

We know that wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to filter out most pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceuticals also enter freshwaters directly via failing sewage pipes, sewer overflows, and agricultural runoff. Complicating potential remedies is that the federal government does not require testing and has not set limits for drugs in water.

Cary research is advancing understanding of the impacts of pharmaceutical compounds on stream ecosystems. Through field studies and experiments in our Artificial Stream Facility, we are investigating how stream life is altered by pharmaceutical mixtures, which pharmaceuticals are passed up the food web and how other forms of pollution, like micro-plastics, amplify the problem.

Registration for this free program is below or 860-435-9851.

Go back

Occasionally, events may be cancelled due to inclement weather or other conditions beyond our control. In that case, we will make every effort to update our website and contact registrants.

Photography policy:
Official photographs made at the event may include you as a subject and could be used in future editorial and promotional contexts in print and electronic media. Images will not be identified using full names without written approval from the individual. Please notify Noble Horizons staff if you would prefer that your photo not be used.

Upcoming Events View All

On February 23 at 11 am, Noble Horizons physical therapists, Kaitlyn Duerr, PT, DPT and Kim Tormay OTR/L will present, “Chronic Pain Management without Opioids: Utilizing Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy for Chronic Pain Management.”

Full Details

What better way to prepare for spring than to design and plant a Sedum Tablescape with Noreen Driscoll of Sweethaven Farm!  At 11 am on March 2, workshop guests may select several varieties of sedums and succulents to create a mini-landscape planter (planters provided).

Full Details

On March 9 at 11 am, enjoy a taste of the good old days with acclaimed author and baker Jessie Sheehan who will prepare and share samples of two delicious desserts from her newest book, Vintage Baker.

Full Details

On Saturday, March 30 at 11 am, Noble Horizons welcomes author and historian David Frye, PhD. who will discuss his new book, Walls: A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick.

Full Details