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Ocean View, Zachary Lees JD/MELP'12

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Plastics and stormwater pollution are significant parts of the environmental fallout in one of thecountry’s most developed and densely populated regions. As a water law and policy specialist, those problems keep Zachary Lees busy. His nonprofit focuses on water quality and marine issues in the Atlantic, from Montauk, N.Y., to Cape May, N.J. Stormwater pollution and plastics “are insidious and ingrained in how we have developed as a society and unfortunately are prevalent in this area,” he says. As plastic debris degrades, “it eventually turns into micro-plastics 5 millimeters or less in size that are absorbed into the food chain and cause all sorts of harm.”