This project will identify and begin work to address the sources of flame retardants (PBDEs) affecting the health of ESA-listed Chinook and steelhead in the Snohomish and Nisqually watersheds of Puget Sound. Long Live the Kings has been leading the international, 60 entity Salish Sea Marine Survival Project to identify what’s killing salmon and steelhead as they migrate downriver and through the combined waters of Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia, known as the Salish Sea. As a part of this work, investigators have found very high PBDE concentrations in 100% of the wild juvenile Chinook in the estuary/lower delta of the Snohomish River, and in over 30% of wild juvenile Nisqually River steelhead: concentrations at levels that cause reduced disease resistance and alter thyroid function, factors that can lead to increase mortality as these fish exit their rivers and traverse Puget Sound. We will work with our partners to assess detailed fish and water quality data to identify the sources of these PBDEs, ensure addressing this issue is a priority for the local watersheds and region, and outline and begin to advance strategies to reduce contamination of these rivers and their precious salmon.
Long Live the Kings
Address sources of flame retardants affecting Nisqually & Snohomish river salmon and steelhead
Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund, 2018