Since 2012 the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has been using transplanted mussels to monitor contaminants in the nearshore areas of Washington's Salish Sea. This cooperative monitoring program is funded in part by Puget Sound's Stormwater Action Monitoring (SAM) program, and by various state, county, and city agencies, tribes, ports, and other local groups.
The biennial deployment and retrieval of mussels in cages is accomplished almost entirely through citizen science volunteers.
This talk will highlight findings from three rounds of Salish Sea nearshore contaminant surveys (2012/13, 2015/16, 2017/8). It will include details about legacy contaminants in the nearshore, where and how fossil fuels are making their way into local marine waters, and which chemicals of emerging concern (pharmaceuticals and personal care products) we are finding.