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The Brightwater Treatment Plant in King County. Image courtesy of King County.

PSI in the news: ‘Salmon on Prozac’ and more

PSI’s Andy James is collaborating with scientists at NOAA and Washington State University to understand how wastewater affects juvenile salmon in Puget Sound. The study is led by Jim Meador of NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Sciences Center and focuses on discharge from three major sewage treatment plants in King County. Wastewater will be analyzed at the …

Screenshot from video.

Video: Identifying sources of pollution in the Skagit Valley

A video produced by the University of Washington Center for Urban Waters shows how chemical tracers can identify sources of pollution affecting shellfish growers in Puget Sound’s Skagit Valley. Fecal coliform pollution is a widespread problem in Puget Sound, resulting in costly beach and shellfish bed closures whenever it is detected. Analytical techniques can now …

Bay Mussels (Mytilus trossulus) on Edmonds Ferry Dock. Photo [cropped]: brewbooks (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/brewbooks/8840874065

Bay mussels in Puget Sound show traces of oxycodone

By Jeff Rice The opioid epidemic has now hit the waters of Puget Sound. State agencies tracking pollution levels in Puget Sound have discovered traces of oxycodone in the tissues of native bay mussels (Mytilus trossulus) from Seattle and Bremerton area harbors. The mussels were part of the state’s Puget Sound Mussel Monitoring Program. Every …

PSI will host a wide variety of sessions and panels at the 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The announcements are in and Puget Sound Institute researchers will be chairing or co-chairing at least five different special sessions at next year’s Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Seattle. The sessions will include subjects as varied as Contaminants of Emerging Concern, microplastics, Pacific herring, ecosystem modeling and the potential influence of the region’s technology industry …

New project searches for contaminants of emerging concern

PSI research scientist Andy James has been funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program to identify contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in the waters of Puget Sound. There are literally thousands of man-made chemicals known as CECs circulating in local waters, but very little is known about their impacts on wildlife. They are …

Detecting organic contaminants in highway runoff and fish tissue

This much we know: Stormwater is nasty stuff. The state of Washington has called it one of the leading threats to the Puget Sound ecosystem — it can kill salmon within hours and it contributes to all kinds of health problems for species ranging from orcas to humans. What we don’t know is exactly what’s …

The impacts of rogue chemicals on Puget Sound

In early 2016, scientists at NOAA made headlines when they reported finding 81 different man-made chemicals in the tissues of juvenile chinook salmon in Puget Sound. Among those chemicals were drugs such as cocaine and Prozac. This was the first time scientists had made these findings for the region’s salmon, but it has been well-understood that marine …

In the news: Radiolab event will feature PSI’s water detectives

There is a nice story in The News Tribune today on the upcoming Radiolab event in Tacoma. The January 22nd show at the Pantages Theater will focus on Northwest water issues and features a panel of environmental leaders, including PSI Director Joel Baker. The paper calls Joel and his lab “the ‘CSI’ of water science” and highlights some of their research into the high …