It’s been 30 years since the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Here’s what we’re still learning from that environmental debacle. – Hakai Magazine

Some facts on the ground. While the press may have moved on, the oil hasn’t. Why we are so adamant about new oil spill regulations in Olympia as Canada gears up to put hundreds of more oil freighters into our joint use Strait. Whatever could go wrong?

Before dawn on March 24, 1989, Dan Lawn stepped off of a small boat and onto the boarding ladder dangling from the side of the grounded Exxon Valdez oil tanker. As he made the crossover, he peered down into the water of Prince William Sound, and saw, in the glare of the lights, an ugly spectacle he would never forget. “There was a 3-foot wave of oil boiling out from under the ship, recalls Lawn, who was then a Valdez-based Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation employee helping to watchdog the oil industry. “You couldn’t do anything to stop it.”… Eventually, the oil would foul parts of 1,300 miles of coastline, killing marine life ranging from microscopic planktons to orcas in an accident that would change how the maritime oil-transportation industry does business in Alaska, and to a lesser extent, elsewhere in the world. Hal Bernton and Lynda Makes report. (Seattle Times) See also: Wounded Wilderness: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill 30 Years Later  On the surface, Prince William Sound appears to have recovered. But you don’t have to dig too deep—into the soil or into memories—to find the spill’s lingering effects. Tim Lydon reports. (Hakai Magazine)

It’s been 30 years since the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Here’s what we’re still learning from that environmental debacle.

PSI COLLABORATOR RECEIVES NSF GRANT TO STUDY COHO DEATHS – Puget Sound Institute

Good news. A grant has been awarded to do deeper research into road runoff and how it kills salmon. It will include citizen scientists to help find the specimens and alert the researchers to die offs.

PSI collaborator Ed Kolodziej has received a $330,000 National Science Foundation grant to expand his research on toxic pollutants in Puget Sound. Kolodziej’s project will identify chemicals in stormwater that are killing coho salmon and endangering some spawning runs. The project includes a collaboration with citizen scientists who will alert project members to salmon die-offs as they are happening. Kolodziej’s team will then collect water and tissue samples from these sites that they will analyze using at the labs of PSI’s parent group the Center for Urban Waters.

Read the full story here:

https://www.pugetsoundinstitute.org/2018/08/psi-collaborator-receives-nsf-grant-to-study-coho-deaths/?utm_campaign=grants-and-funding&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitter

What makes stormwater toxic?- Salish Sea Currents

Nice quick overview on stormwater and what is being done to better understand  and mitigate it.

Researchers are trying to determine which chemicals in stormwater are contributing to the deaths of large numbers of coho salmon in Puget Sound. It has prompted a larger question: What exactly is in stormwater anyway? Eric Wagoner reports. (Salish Sea Currents)

https://www.eopugetsound.org/magazine/is/stormwater-mystery

Low levels of oil pollution harm herring, salmon, study finds – Seattle Times

Our knowledge of the effects of even low levels of oil on fish populations continue to grow. This will have impacts on our port, and points to more needs for storm water solutions that include eventual re-design of almost every highway in the state, to stop car runoff into our waterways. It won’t happen overnight, but is happening and will continue to, given these findings. It’s our food sources vs. business as usual with autos.

Federal scientists based in Seattle and Alaska have found that oil — by impairing heart functions — can cause serious harm to herring and pink salmon at far lower concentrations than previously documented. The research, published Tuesday online in Nature’s Scientific Reports, could help unravel the mystery of why herring stocks in Prince William Sound collapsed after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Their work also has implications about the effects of low levels of chronic oil pollution in Puget Sound and elsewhere in the world. “What this study shows is that in very, very low concentration of oil, embryonic fish … get born with a mild heart defect,” said John Incardona, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration toxicologist at a Seattle fisheries science center. He is one of 10 co-authors of the study. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/lower-levels-of-oil-pollution-harm-herring-and-salmon-study-finds/

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