Oscar- and Emmy-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo, who stars as Hulk in the Avengers movies, visited UMass Boston’s Nantucket Field Station recently to discuss a new partnership between his nonprofit organization Water Defense and field station director Sarah Oktay.
Water Defense, founded by Ruffalo to protect drinking water around the world, has responded to more than 45 contamination disasters. The organization’s chief scientist, Scott Smith, and his team have developed new water testing standards, and are now teaming with Oktay to establish baseline water readings for the entire nation, beginning in Massachusetts.
“Thanks to the collaboration between Smith and Dr. Oktay, we are changing the way our nation’s waters are monitored and protected based on proven science,” said John Pratt, executive director of Water Defense. “Cape Cod is the perfect place to start our mission.”
Ruffalo visited the field station on June 28 with Smith, the creator of Opflex, a sponge-like material with thousands of small pores that remove oils and other pollutants from water. Along with Oktay, they announced cumulative testing results from samples taken in Eastham, Falmouth, Nantucket Harbor and the Head of Hummock Pond at a press conference. Ruffalo and Smith also visited with students and interns enrolled in programs at the field station operated by the College of Advancing and Professional Studies.
“It was a pleasure getting to know Mark and Scott, and it’s encouraging to see their great advocacy for the environment,” Oktay said. “All the young scientists at the field station will have a chance to work with the Opflex and a variety of other techniques as they experiment with ways to keep Nantucket clean.”
Read more about Ruffalo's visit at the Nantucket Field Station blog.