Concerns are growing that an earthquake or major ship accident could cause a failure that would halt ship traffic — or, worse, drop water levels in Lake Washington and Lake Union by up to 20 feet. That could mean stranded boats, disabled bridges and big problems for salmon restoration.
They are sometimes called ‘zombie’ chemicals. Some compounds thought to be safe and inactive can change into dangerously active forms when they are exposed to the environment. Two recent papers co-authored by PSI collaborator Ed Kolodziej look at some of the ways that regulators may need to account for these transformations.
Cole, EA, McBride, SA, Kimbrough, KC, Lee, J, Marchand, EA, Cwiertny, DM, Kolodziej, EP. (2015). Rates and product identification for trenbolone acetate metabolite biotransformation under aerobic conditions. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Volume: 34, Issue: 7, pgs. 1472-1484; DOI: 10.1002/etc.2962.
Ward, AS, Cwiertny, DM, Kolodziej, EP, Brehm, CC. (2015). Coupled reversion and stream-hyporheic exchange processes increase environmental persistence of trenbolone metabolites. Nature Communications. Volume: 6, Article Number 7067; DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8067.
Our Director Joel Baker recently co-authored Microplastics in the Ocean: A Global Assessment, an international report commissioned by GESAMP (The Joint Group of Experts on Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection). GESAMP is an inter-Agency Body of the United Nations, comprised of a group of independent scientists providing advice to UN Agencies on a wide variety of ocean matters. The report examined the global distribution of micro plastic particles, their known and hypothesized effects on marine organisms, and evaluated potential solutions.
Every year, winter rains bring the threat of millions of dollars in property damage, or even the loss of life, from floods. Rivers have historically been channeled and tamed to protect towns and farms in low-lying floodplains, but research shows that this approach may actually be making flooding worse while at the same time threatening Puget Sound’s salmon. At Hansen Creek in the Skagit Valley, scientists say nature is the best engineer. Read Eric Wagner’s story in the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound’s Salish Sea Currents series.
The decaying seawall along Seattle’s waterfront is providing scientists with an opportunity to improve long-lost habitat for migrating salmon. It could also show the way for habitat enhancements to crumbling infrastructure worldwide. One University of Washington researcher describes the project.
One of the goals set by the state’s Puget Sound Action Agenda is to add 20 percent more eelgrass to the region by 2020. But three years into the effort, there’s been little or no progress, and growing perplexity. Studies show that some eelgrass beds are increasing while others are in decline. Scientists met at the 2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference to share new research and possible new directions for recovery efforts.
Puget Sound Institute research scientist Tessa Francis testified before the Washington House Environment Committee today about the ecological importance of the region’s forage fish.
She discussed findings from PSI’s recent Study Panel on Ecosystem-based Management of Forage Fish in Puget Sound.
The current cold snap is no match for the green roof at PSI headquarters. Our own Kurt Marx has been monitoring roof conditions here at the Center for Urban Waters and gave us this graphic showing temperatures about 5 degrees Celsius warmer under the surface.
Social media now proliferates across almost every sector of the Web, from commercial enterprises like Facebook to crowd sourcing of science and medical data. New online communities are sprouting like weeds, but not all of these efforts succeed, and the Web is littered with failed attempts and false starts. How can you tell if your network will be the next big thing? PSI Visiting Scientist Marc Mangel says the answer may lie with population biology. Continue reading
This month, the University of Washington’s Burke Museum opens the exhibit Elwha: A River Reborn, based on the book by Seattle Times reporter Lynda Mapes, with photography by Steve Ringman. The exhibit tells the story of the largest dam removal in U.S. history, and PSI’s Jeff Rice spoke with Mapes about her experience covering the story, her recent book, and the upcoming exhibit. Read the interview at the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound.
As a dedicated group of natural resource managers met for the nth time around a set of tables in the Coupeville, WA rec hall, one participant spoke up plaintively, “But do we really need to rate and rank all these proposed actions in order to move forward?” Continue reading
We recently came across this editorial from Seattle Times writer John Hamer. The text still seems fresh, like it could have been written just a few years ago. The issues that prompted it remain pressing, but the date — January of 1985 — shows that it can take a while for words to resonate.
“Nearly every issue involving the Sound — secondary sewage treatment, storm-sewer overflow, urban runoff, dredge dumping, toxic chemicals, dead whales, fish tumors, closed shellfish beds, red tide — is plagued by uncertainty and disagreement. That makes swift, sweeping action difficult and probably unwise.
But one idea surfaced recently that almost everyone concerned about the Sound may be able to agree on: creation of a Puget Sound Institute at the University of Washington to serve as a focal point for research.”
We couldn’t agree more. It only took 25 years, but looks like there really was something to that Puget Sound Institute idea.
We would like to thank long-time Puget Sound scientist Don Malins for sharing this news clipping with us.