The National Science Foundation awarded the Center for Urban Waters a $330,000 grant that will allow the UW Tacoma-based outfit to continue to identify toxic pollutants in urban watersheds.
The research will focus on pollutants that may be involved in the deaths of coho salmon who were near spawning, according to a news release this week.
The grant will allow researchers to continue using analytical equipment including a liquid chromatograph/quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer, which allows for more precise measurements. State funding allowed UW Tacoma to acquire the material in 2012; other government agencies, like the Federal Highway Administration and the state Department of Ecology have also funded the center.
“We at the Center for Urban Waters have a chance to do some consequential and influential work around stormwater and pervasive environmental pollution in urban environments with this research study,” Ed Kolodziej, the lead investigator of the study said in a statement.
Kolodziej and fellow researchers from Washington State University outposts and other facilities have worked to identify pollutants, particularly in water flows where coho salmon mortality is high. The researchers, however, do not know what materials within the stormwater are toxic, so they are listing, identifying and screening every chemical substance found in the water.
The center originally opened in 2010. Kolodziej joined its operations four years later.