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.
UW SRP hosts presentation on Lower Duwamish Superfund Site sedimentation research by investigators for agency and community stakeholders.
Investigators in the UW Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have been conducting research on sedimentation dynamics that are critical to the “natural recovery” of portions of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site. On April 28th, doctoral student Maggie McKeon and faculty researcher Alexander Horner-Devine presented the results of their recent investigation of sedimentation rates and transportation dynamics within the Duwamish Superfund site and their implications for the selected remedy of natural recovery over large portions of the site.
UW SRP co-hosted the 12th annual Summit of the Northwest Toxic Communities Coalition (NWTCC) in May. NWTCC is a long-standing community partner of the UW SRP. The organization works to empower communities impacted by toxic waste by sharing resources, information and support for cleanup efforts throughout the northwest states (EPA’s Region 10).
Dr. Jacqueline Garrick says the most important thing about her dissertation research is the fact that it opened so many doors for future research. Dr. Garrick studies Paraoxonase 2 (PON2), an antioxidative enzyme that's found all over the body in many different tissue types and is in particularly high concentrations in the heart and lungs.
Up until recently, PON2 was understood to be found in the mitochondria and to play a role in protecting cells from oxidative stress.
A new paper by researchers on the University of Washington Superfund Research Program Project 3 describes in detail an improved protocol for characterizing some of the features of Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) that help it provide protection from exposure to certain contaminants and affect susceptibility to disease. Unlike the previously existing protocol, the one reported does not depend on highly toxic substrates and can be carried out in any lab.
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.
For decades, public spaces along Seattle's Duwamish River have had names with numerical subjects like "Terminal 105 Park" and "Turning Basin #3." These names align with the Lower Duwamish Waterway's identity as an industrialized and polluted Superfund Site, but ignore the river's cultural and spiritual significance to the Salish peoples and downplay the vision that drives current efforts at clean-up and ecological restoration.
Jim Gawell and other researchers from UW SRP Project Four are providing porewater peepers for a study of lakes in Pierce County by Jeff Tepper at the University of Puget Sound. Along with the loan, they provided a demonstration of how to set up and deploy the equipment.
The first of the lakes to be studied with the porewater peepers will be Lake Waughop Lake. Fieldwork will begin in early July.
Less than 200 years ago, Seattle's Duwamish River meandered over fertile plains, brimming with salmon as it drained a more than 1,600 square mile watershed from Mount Rainier to Elliott Bay in Puget Sound. The native Duwamish people lived in longhouses along its banks and early settlers farmed nearby.