Since early 2021, our community partners have been concerned about proposed changes to the plan for the cleanup of the Duwamish River that was finalized in 2014 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in their Record of Decision (ROD). As our partners work to understand the implications of the proposed changes, the UW SRP Community Engagement and Research Translation Cores have been providing technical support to help interpret the science underlying the proposed actions.
This year marked the 15th anniversary of the Duwamish River Festival, an outdoor event organized by the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition (DRCC) to bring together communities in South Park and Georgetown to celebrate the cleanup of the Lower Duwamish Waterway and the revitalization of its adjacent communities.
Investigators on Project 4 partner with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to sample lake fish for arsenic
When you find that some lake fish have levels of arsenic high enough to pose a hazard to human health you wonder about the arsenic in other fish.
BJ Cummings and her 2020 book, The River That Made Seattle: A Human and Environmental History of the Duwamish, were awarded the Virginia Marie Folkins Award for outstanding historical publication by the Association of King County Historical Organizations (AKCHO) in a virtual awards ceremony in May.
When UW SRP researchers found new evidence that environmental contamination from a former smelter may pose a threat to human health, they were careful to inform their agency partners in advance of publication. This advance notice allowed them a chance to coordinate the necessary risk communication before engaging with potentially affected populations.
In the fall of 2020, our partner community group, Juntos Podemos Ciudar Nuestro Rio Duwamish (Juntos), held a series of three webinars for fishers in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Khmer using videos that we helped create to teach how to safely and legally catch and prepare salmon from the Duwamish River. Because salmon spend only a small portion of their life in the Duwamish River, they are the safest fish to eat from the polluted waterway.
In December, most of Washington's outer coast was closed to Dungeness crab fishing due to high levels of domoic acid. Domoic acid is a neurotoxin produced by a type of marine algae known as Pseudonitzschia that can accumulate in shellfish and other marine organisms through their diet. In the past, people have died from eating seafood containing domoic acid. Now careful regulation prevents major domoic acid poisoning events in humans.
Fishing for fun, food, and cultural connection is a way of life in the Pacific Northwest.
With fishing and other outdoor activities now allowed as part of the state's phased approach to reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, recreational fishing is ramping up on local waterways.
But for those fishing the heavily polluted Lower Duwamish Waterway in Seattle, the fish they catch come with unsafe levels of carcinogens that include heavy metals and PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls.
Fish and Future: An Inter-generational Dialogue on Food, Health & Environment in the Pacific Northwest
On April 3rd, 2018 the University of Washington Exposures, Disease, Genomics, and Environment Center and Superfund Research P