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PSI monthly roundup: June 2022

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The University of Washington Puget Sound Institute is located at the Center for Urban Waters on Tacoma's Thea Foss Waterway.
The University of Washington Puget Sound Institute is located at the Center for Urban Waters on Tacoma’s Thea Foss Waterway.

Boundary spanning in Puget Sound

Ecosystem-based management is often a large-scale collaborative effort involving many distinct groups. Boundary spanning organizations such as the Puget Sound Institute can help to support communication and policy development across institutions. In a new paper in the journal Environmental Science & Policy, we look at how knowledge exchange influences science-based ecosystem recovery in Puget Sound. Our paper is now online, and we have created an extended abstract available on the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound.

Read more.

View of the Elwha River above the site of the former Glines Canyon Dam in 2021. Photo: Sylvia Kantor
View of the Elwha River above the site of the former Glines Canyon Dam in 2021. Photo: Sylvia Kantor

Magazine series looks at salmon returns in the Elwha River

Our series ‘Returning home: The Elwha’s genetic legacy’ continues this week in our magazine Salish Sea Currents. The seven-part series takes a detailed look at the behaviors and reproductive success of salmon in the Elwha River before and after dam removal. Now, as migratory salmon are free to swim in the upper Elwha for the first time in 100 years, Christopher Dunagan examines how the fish are doing and whether the river’s genetic legacy remains intact.

Read more.

Audrey Rhodes is the recipient of this summer's stormwater internship at the Center for Urban Waters.
Audrey Rhodes is the recipient of this summer’s stormwater internship at the Center for Urban Waters.

Meet our intern: Audrey Rhodes

We are pleased to welcome Audrey Rhodes as a summer research assistant at the Center for Urban Waters. Audrey will be working in cooperation with the Stormwater Equipment Manufacturer’s Association to analyze the effectiveness of new stormwater treatment technologies through literature reviews of published research. Audrey was born and raised in Eastern Washington and received her Bachelor of Environmental Science degree from the University of Washington Tacoma in 2022. Starting this fall, she will begin a master’s program at North Dakota State University where she will study topics related to saline agriculture and freshwater resources.

Read more.

PSI in the news

KUOW: ‘Seattle fish research could shake up global tire industry’

“If you buy a set of tires for your car…you might be buying roughly one pound of 6PPD within that rubber,” our colleague and affiliate Ed Kolodziej told Seattle public radio station KUOW. Kolodziej and his team identified the related chemical 6PPD-Q which is now known to be responsible for devastating coho salmon runs and potentially harming other species.

Read more.

‘California moves to curb harmful tire pollutant’

The State of California is looking at potential regulations to reduce pollution from 6PPD-Q, according to ABC 7 TV in San Francisco. The regulations will be aimed at tire manufacturers. “After final approval, the plan could require companies to begin developing an alternative for the chemical 6PPD, which is currently used to preserve tires,” the station reports. PSI-affiliate Ed Kolodziej is quoted.

Read more.

Recent papers

Multiple transformation products identified for tire compound 6PPD

Many commercially used chemical substances can react with the environment to create novel compounds known as transformation products. These compounds are sometimes dangerous to wildlife such as salmon, as was the case with the chemical 6PPD-Q discovered in 2020 by scientists here at the Center for Urban Waters. That chemical arose as a transformation product of the commonly known tire preservative 6PPD which is found in stormwater worldwide.

A recent article co-written by our group in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters suggests that such transformation products may be more common than previously thought. It shows that 6PPD-Q is only one of numerous transformation products resulting from 6PPD. The article identifies “19 probable 6PPD-derived TPs [transformation products],” nine of which were found in roadway runoff. “The data confirm that when tire rubber antioxidants react with ozone, as intended, they form and release various TPs to surrounding environments,” the article reports.

Hu, X., Zhao, H. N., Tian, Z., Peter, K. T., Dodd, M. C., & Kolodziej, E. P. (2022). Transformation Product Formation upon Heterogeneous Ozonation of the Tire Rubber Antioxidant 6PPD (N-(1, 3-dimethylbutyl)-N′-phenyl-p-phenylenediamine). Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 9(5), 413-419.

Also available from our group:

Lessons from bright-spots for advancing knowledge exchange at the interface of marine science and policy

Puget Sound has been identified in the Journal of Environmental Management as one of 25 international “bright spots” for knowledge exchange at the marine science-policy interface. PSI lead ecosystem ecologist Tessa Francis is a co-author of the July 2022 paper.

Karcher, D. B., Cvitanovic, C., van Putten, I. E., Colvin, R. M., Armitage, D., Aswani, S., … & Zhang, J. (2022). Lessons from bright-spots for advancing knowledge exchange at the interface of marine science and policy. Journal of Environmental Management, 314, 114994.