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Investigating the Columbia River and Estuary: A primary focus of research

November 10, 2004 Share This!

Scientists immersed in the life-blood of the Northwest

RICHLAND, Wash. – What is considered perhaps the northwest's most valuable natural resource will be the primary focus for hundreds of environmental science professionals as they convene for the Fourth Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry World Congress conference in Portland this November.

Among the events designed to exchange ideas and present research will be an Interactive Poster Session entitled, Investigations of the Columbia River and Estuary led by several Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists. On Thursday, November 18, PNNL will deliver presentations addressing river research:

* Dredge entrainment of Dungeness crab in the Columbia River Estuary - Greg Williams, PNNL's Marine Research Operations, Sequim, WA, will address loss estimates of Dungeness crab as a result of ongoing maintenance dredging and proposed deepening of the Columbia River Estuary navigation channel. This research also has an adaptive management focus that involves developing models that relate crab entrainment rates to seasonal patterns of bottom salinity, and which may yield dredging strategies that reduce these losses.

* Screening Columbia and Willamette River sediments for CYP1A-inducing compounds with a biomarker assay (EPA 4425) - Jack Anderson, PNNL's Marine Research Operations, Sequim, WA, will report on the results found by sampling Columbia River and Willamette River sediments. While most samples revealed background or low-levels of toxic compounds, some of the Willamette sediments showed elevated levels where biological effects would be expected.

* Assessments of onsite ecological impacts of legacy materials from the Hanford Site, Washington State during the 21st century - Brett Tiller, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Scientist, reports how the Department of Energy is assessing the health of biota that inhabit the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State . Recent monitoring of Asiatic clams has provided important information about the concentration and distribution of trace metals and radionuclides in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River.

* Uptake and depuration of 90Sr/ 90Y by Columbia River periphyton communities - Robert Fellows, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, reports how periphyton communities - a fundamental ecosystem food source - fare in the Columbia groundwater/river interface when exposed to strontium-90, which has resulted from past Hanford nuclear materials production.

* Effects of hexavalent chromium on fall Chinook salmon in the Columbia River at Hanford - Greg Patton, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, reports on exposures to early life-stage fall Chinook salmon from hexavalent chromium entering the Columbia River from Hanford groundwater. The study addresses survival, differences in development and growth from eyed-egg stage to swim-up stage.

The presentations will be conducted in Rooms B113 and B114, Portland Convention Center between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon on November 18.

Details regarding the Fourth SETAC World Congress event are available at Setac . This will be the 25th annual meeting in North America at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, OR, November 14-18.

Tags: Energy, Environment, Fundamental Science, Operations, Marine Research, Chemistry

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy. For more information, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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