In WSU Stormwater Runoff Research, Coho Salmon Die Quickly,Chum Survive

More data that shows how complicated the salmon recovery effort is.

On April 20, 2018, the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife News Bulletin reported that Washington State University (WSU) scientists discovered that different species of salmon have varying reactions to polluted stormwater runoff.

In a recent paper published in the journal Environmental Pollution, scientists found that coho salmon became mortally ill within just a few hours of exposure to polluted stormwater. But chum salmon showed no signs of ill- effects after prolonged exposure to the same water.

The study can be found at

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026974911734527X?via%3Dihub

“It really surprised us,” said Jen McIntyre, an assistant professor in WSU’s School of the Environment. “Not that the coho were affected so quickly, but how resistant the chum were. We saw no impact at all in the chum’s post-exposure blood work.”

Stormwater is toxic to fish because it can include carcinogenic hydrocarbons, metals, and other organic compounds, most of which have yet to be identified.

McIntyre and her team collected stormwater runoff in large tanks from a highway in western Washington. Then they placed salmon in that water for four hours or until the fish showed signs of illness. Blood samples were then taken from all of the fish.

Only a few coho lasted four hours before having to be removed. In blood tests, the team found a significant increase in lactic acid concentrations and their blood was much thicker. Their blood pH was thrown off and the amount of salt in their plasma decreased significantly.

The chum test results showed none of those changes, all these fish lasting the full four hours without showing any signs of distress or sickness.

 

“These fish are very closely related,” said McIntyre, who works at WSU’s Puyallup Research and Extension Center. “They’re the same genus, but obviously something is significantly different physiologically. We just don’t know what that difference is yet.”

The study was done at the Suquamish Tribe Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery, with fish donated by the Suquamish Tribe.

McIntyre worked on the project with fellow WSU scientists, along with colleagues from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

McIntyre and her team noticed a few clues for where to start their next round of investigations: studying what makes the chum nearly impervious to toxic runoff. One is that the coho appeared hypoxic, meaning they weren’t getting enough oxygen. But the water had plenty of oxygen, so they’ll look at blood circulation issues, how the fish metabolize oxygen in their muscles, and a few other areas.

“We don’t know if the thicker blood is a symptom of the problem, or if that’s the initiating event that then causes the oxygen deprivation,” McIntyre said. “There’s a lot of work still to come, but this really narrows down where we need to look.”

They’re also hoping that looking further into chum will turn up clues about how they resist the effects of toxic runoff.

In a later study, not included in this paper, McIntyre and her team conducted a prolonged exposure test on chum. Those fish swam in the stormwater runoff for four days and none of them got sick.

“We’re still trying to understand how they’re unaffected,” she said. “It’s actually really impressive.”

Another problem for the coho is that scientists don’t know what particular contaminants in the runoff are causing the problems.

“There’s a whole variety of heavy metals and hydrocarbons in that water,” McIntyre said. “And a whole bunch of chemicals we are working with scientists at the University of Washington in Tacoma to identify so that we can protect more delicate species like coho salmon from the effects of human pollution.”

McIntyre’s research is part of a grant from EPA.

For more information, Jen McIntyre can be reached at jen.mcintyre@wsu.edu.

Source:    http://www.cbbulletin.com/440562.aspx

 

 

$1.12 million rain garden project in Port Angeles nears completion – PDN

New raingardens are being implemented in PA and here in PT. WSU  will be doing some talking about them today, actually.

A $1.12 million stormwater project in west Port Angeles to relieve flooding and improve stormwater runoff water quality is nearly complete. The city has installed rain gardens at eight intersections on South H, K, L and M streets, as well as a new, larger drain pipe system to relieve flood problems on South H Street. Rain gardens are designed to transfer surface stormwater to groundwater by providing planted “wells” for water to pool and soak into the ground, rather than entering the stormwater system, and to provide a natural filter for surface stormwater. Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20141120/NEWS/311209986/-112-million-rain-garden-project-in-port-angeles-nears-completion

And in Port Townsend:

Catching the Rain: Rain Gardens 101

Thurs. Nov. 20, 5-6 pm

WSU Extension Office, 380 Jefferson St, Port Townsend

Stormwater from landscapes and roadways is the number one contributor of pollutants to Puget Sound.  Bob Simmons, Water Resources Specialist with WSU Extension, is presenting a free 1-hour seminar on the basics of rain gardens–how rain gardens help improve water quality, what rain gardens are and how they work, and the four steps to creating and sustaining a rain garden.  The newest “how to” manual from WSU will be also available (or you can download it from www.raingarden.wsu.edu).  Attending this workshop provides an introduction to the Nov. 24-25th installation events, but is not required to participate in those events.

 

Please RSVP to Sally Chapin, WSU Extension (360-379-5610 x 200 or wsujeffersoncounty@gmail.com.).

Rain Garden Planting

Mon, Nov. 24, 1 – 4 pm

Tues Nov. 25, 9 am – 12 noon

Garfield St., Port Townsend

Learn by doing, whether you are new to rain gardens or already a pro.  Join WSU Extension, Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee and the City of Port Townsend as we install two new rain gardens on Garfield Street.  WSU experts Erica Guttman and Bob Simmons will provide instruction and answer all your questions as we plant two new rain gardens to treat stormwater before it flows into Port Townsend Bay. Bring your own digging tools, gloves, etc. More details when you register.

 

Please RSVP to Sally Chapin, WSU Extension (360-379-5610 x 200 or wsujeffersoncounty@gmail.com.).  Let her know which workday(s) you prefer.

WSU offers 9th to 12 Grade Research Projects- Cash Prizes!

Here is a really cool opportunity for PNW 9th-12th graders to participate in team-based research for cash prizes. Yes, cash prizes for winners and their schools!

This year’s theme is energy sustainability. Please help spread the word to students, teachers, and anyone you think may be interested in helping to form a team in our area.

Imagine Tomorrow challenges 9th through 12th graders to seek new ways to support the transition to alternative energy sources. Students research complex topics related to renewable energy, then innovate technologies, designs, or plans to mobilize behavior. They forge connections in their communities and create positive change. In this energy competition, as in life, solutions are limited only by imagination.

More info is at the website is imagine.wsu.edu
Especially look at the Topics and Challenges page.

You can get posters and flyers for distribution if you would like any to put up in your schools or community centers- contact clea.rome@wsu.edu

Thanks!

Clea Rome

WSU Clallam County Extension Director

360-417-2280

clea.rome@wsu.edu

Biochar presentation. What’s that? Sept 26th 3:30 to 5 PM

For immediate release
Contact: Darcy McNamara: darcym@wsu.edu or 360/379-5610 x222

Biochar: A New Way to Cleaner Water

Howard Sprouse is the guest speaker at a presentation on “biochar” a material that has exciting applications for removing pollution from water. The free presentation, which will begin with an overview of low impact development techniques, will be held on Wednesday, September 26 at the Jefferson County Library, 620 Cedar Avenue, in Port Hadlock from 3:30 to 5pm.

Participants will learn what biochar is, how it is made, costs involved and how it could be used to improve water quality. Industry and development professionals including engineers, landscaper designers, builders, contractors, developers, architects, environmental consultants and farmers are encouraged to attend. The free presentation is open to the public and is hosted by WSU Jefferson County Extension with support from the Watershed Stewardship Resource Center.

Biochar is a charcoal-like material that can be used as a soil amendment to raise the fertility of the soil to enhance plant growth. It is now being studied for the potential it has to remove contaminants from water. Sprouse and others at WSU Extension are studying the potential use of biochar to remove pollutants from stormwater including copper, cadmium and lead.

About the presenter:
Howard Sprouse is the President and CEO of the Remediators, Inc., a developer of bioremediation technologies since the mid 1990s. Mr. Sprouse previously worked as a consultant for Battelle’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Sequim, Washington assisting with the development of mycoremediation technology. His work there assisted projects aimed towards remediation of petroleum hydrocarbons, biological agents, pathogen degradation, and biofiltration of agricultural runoff. Mr. Sprouse has also worked for the Department of Botany, University of Washington, as a research assistant for fungal ecology research in Olympic National Park. He is recognized in the bioremediation industry as the first to commercialize mycoremediation technology in the United States and as a developer of technology using biochar. His business, The Remediators Incorporated is located in Washington State where they do a variety of environmental based services.

For more information, please contact Darcy McNamara, LID and Natural Resources Educator at darcym@wsu.edu or 360/379-5610 x222.

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