Dr. Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is an expert in analyzing the historic implications of the biogeochemistry (or chemical makeup) of river water from around the world. Last week at Save The Bay, he presented the preliminary findings from a recent study conducted right here in the Narragansett Bay region to an audience comprised largely of scientists and decision-makers.
|WHOI researchers collect samples from the Pawtuxet River|
|WHOI researchers along the Pawtuxet River|
For example, the Pawtuxet River was found to have elevated concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons (motor oil, grease, industrial solvents) compared with other river systems. This certainly reflects urban runoff, and may also reflect the intensive industrial history of this urban river.
|Mid-river water sampling|
In his concluding statements, Dr. Peucker-Ehrenbrink recommended that we continue to pursue long-term monitoring of water quality in the Narragansett Bay estuary and tributaries. Identifying trends, or predictable changes, in the quality of the water in our rivers is critical for developing effective management actions to solve some of the problems imposed on us by our industrial legacy.
Save The Bay is honored to work with Dr. Peucker-Ehrenbrink and his many partners at WHOI on this informative project. This project would not have been possible without the generous support of the van Beuren Charitable Foundation.