Winter Speaker Series

2022-2023 Zoom Speaker Series

Forever Chemicals are Everywhere!

October 12, 2022
Pat Elder, Director, Director:Military Poisons

Contact: Ed Friedman, 207-666-3372
Register for Zoom Meeting

Friends of Merrymeeting Bay’s (FOMB) first presentation of their 26th annual Winter Speaker Series, Forever Chemicals are Everywhere! features Pat Elder, Director of Military Poisons.   FOMB’s Winter Speaker Series presentations are again being held via Zoom and are accessible via hyperlink at the top of the FOMB web page: This event takes place Wednesday, October 12th, at 7 pm. 

PFAS chemicals are widely used, long lasting per-and polyfluoroalkyl synthetic organofluorine chemical compounds that have multiple fluorine atoms attached to an alkyl chain and that break down very slowly over time (hence the name “Forever Chemicals”). Many of them have been linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals. There are thousands of PFAS chemicals, and they are found in many different consumer, commercial, and industrial products. In Maine, widespread sludge spreading over many years has distributed PFAS toxins over wide areas of the state, contaminating livestock and wildlife. Because of their widespread use and their persistence in the environment, many PFAS compounds are found in the blood of people and animals all over the world and are present at low levels in a variety of food products and in the environment. Due to their prevalence, PFAS chemicals might also be termed “everywhere” chemicals. The Maine Monitor has been publishing extensively on this subject and their excellent PFAS series is well worth reading.

Pat Elder is the Director of Military Poisons, an organization drawing public attention to the role played by the military in contaminating our environment and threatening our health. Pat's focus has been on per-and poly fluoroalkyl substances, (PFAS).  He has been working with groups in various states to test surface waters flowing out of military bases for PFAS. Pat will address the strong correlation between the levels of the carcinogens in the water and those found in seafood.   

FOMB hosts their Winter Speaker Series October-May, the second Wednesday of each month. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the series continues via Zoom. The FOMB November 9thpresentation: Shimmering Shad & Splashing Sturgeon features Bowdoin College Biology & Environmental Studies Professor Emeritus John Lichter and International Student Renske Kerkhofs. This event takes place at 7:00 pm with the Zoom access link available at a week or so prior to the presentation.  

Speaker Series presentations are free, open to the public. Visit to see speaker biographiesfull event schedules, video recordings of past presentationsbecome a member, and learn more about how you can help protect beautiful Merrymeeting Bay and the Gulf of Maine.

For more information contact FOMB at 207-666-3372 or

Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler