CONTACT: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
“Sampling the Christina Watershed,” DNREC YouTube
Channel premiere, shows WATAR approach at work
DOVER (Nov. 13, 2015) – A new DNREC YouTube Channel video explains how DNREC’s Watershed Approach to Toxics Assessment and Restoration (WATAR) is a watershed-scale approach to evaluating contaminant sources, transport pathways and receptors. WATAR combines the efforts and expertise of DNREC’s Site Investigation & Restoration Section (SIRS) and the Watershed Assessment and Management Section (WAMS) to create a framework for implementing remediation and restoration in Delaware watersheds impacted by toxic pollutants.
One of the watersheds getting the WATAR approach is the Christina Watershed, of which DNREC Environmental Scientist Rick Greene says in the new video the new video, “What is unique about this work, I dare say across the US, is the specificity of the analyses being done and the sensitivity, for example, in measuring PCBs. We look at PCB compounds - we have 209 of those - and we look at them in water concentrations down to parts in the quadrillions.
“This is an itsy-bitsy amount, and some may say, ‘Do you need to go that low?’” Dr. Greene says in the new video. “The answer is yes, because there's a relationship between the concentrations of these compounds as dissolved in the water and the concentrations that accumulate in fish. So we go to great lengths to get usable data, which we then can relate to the concentrations in the fish and in the sediment. What we're trying to determine here is the relationship between what's in the water, what's in the sediment and what's in the fish. These are not isolated compartments in the environment – the fish swim in the water, the fish are eating the organisms that live on the bottom, and they are exposed to various routes. So we are trying to understand the relationships between all these various contaminants.”
Vol. 45, No. 393