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A point of information for Kossaks who are interested in determining the impact of Fukushima on their part of the Pacific. In the absence of direct funding from Government agencies to monitor the impact of Fukushima sourced radionuclides on in the North Pacific Ocean and to the west coast of North America a crowd-sourced monitoring initiative has just been launched.  The initiative is through the Center for Marine and Environmental Radiation out of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  Headed up by Dr. Ken Buesseler the program is called How Radioactive is Our Ocean?.  Interested citizen scientists can propose a sampling location, fund-raise, request a sampling kit, return seawater for analysis and receive results.  Proposed sampling locations thus far include Pt. Reyes and Scripps Pier in California, Grayland and Sequim Bay Washington, and Kaneohe Bay Hawaii.  All the data will be posted as it is generated on an interactive map that is already live on the site.  The website provides much needed, accurate information about the present impact of Fukushima on the Pacific Ocean.

Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 10:08 AM PT: Ken Buesseler explains the motivation behind the initiative here:

Originally posted to MarineChemist on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 01:39 PM PST.

Also republished by SciTech.


Are you interested in collecting seawater samples to help monitor the impact of Fukushima on the Pacific west coast?

75%25 votes
24%8 votes

| 33 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent initiative. Hope it succeeds. nt (7+ / 0-)

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

    by Bob Love on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 01:54:41 PM PST

  •  Most excellent! Thanks for doing this Marine (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, Mike Kahlow, mamooth


    We need to do this for the whole food chain and ecosystem and had other toxic chemical and biological threats as well.  

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 02:04:34 PM PST

    •  Hi HoundDog (5+ / 0-)

      I am simply promoting this initiative. This project is being run from the United States by Ken Buesseler.  I am working on a similar initiative here in Canada. Thanks for your enthusiasm.  Monitoring in sentinel species like mussels and kelp is also being carried out along California.

      •  Is there any way I could help out? I took many (4+ / 0-)

        courses and written many computer simulation models of environmental science, something I probably should get back into.

        One of my favorite courses was in environmental science at the Harvard School of Public Health.  I can't remember his name but the professor was a marine biologist from Harvard who also either ran, or was affiliated with the Woods Hole labs.  

        Sadly, some of the radioactive contaminates with longer half-lives can remain for thousands and even hundreds of thousands of years, and many concentrate as they work up the food chain.  For example, strontium 90 has a chemical affinity for binding to bone.  Small fish are eaten by bigger fish, who further concentrate it, for the even bigger fish just as occurs with heavy metals, and the third class of pesticides such as DDT.

        The measurable concentration of DDT in bird shells and other bio-system markers continued to increase for a decade after it was banned. DDT concentrates in fats. Long delays can exits at multiple points in the food chain.  As you well know, better than I,  first, heavy metal, and other chemical or radioactive toxins might be dispersed with a particular area and settle on the sea floor, or in the waters. Some microorganisms eat these, then small fish, etc.

        The Susquahanna River in PA has become so contaminated from mining and electronic chemical wastes that PA has a advisory about eating fish caught in the river.  

        How incredibly sad.  And, today Speaker Boehner bragged about cutting the EPA by 20% in the last years and then blamed the problems with the chemical spills in West Virginia on President Obama because he hasn't been "enforcing existing regulations."  He warned everyone that any discussion of new regulation based on the West Virginia spill would be misguided.

        Gak!  That crossed a line.  I've put him down for a "special post" in the coming weeks. Don't be misled by my mild-mannered and friendly manner. I'm one of the most ferocious and prolific political attack dogs on this site.  I haven't written anything in about a year, having burnt out in the years running up to the election.  

        Some folks here think I died but I'm actually resting.  You may have just the person that gets the "historic credit," for getting me fired up again.  (Please don't give up you day job, as there is no financial prize that goes with his "honor."

        Thanks and keep on truckin'  

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 03:48:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, by the way,I love mussels, and virtually all (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder, bluedust, mamooth

        shell fish, however, my girlfriend of the last decade is a Harvard PhD trained pathologist-immunologist who tries to frighten my out of eating them based on arguments similar to the above.  Dang, its almost enough to put me off of this science stuff altogether.

        About a decade ago, I did a lot of consulting work for two of the largest  auto companies in Michigan and commuted back to Massachusetts. On the way back I always had New Zealand mussels sauted in an exotic butter sauce with capers and spices.  

        If you find this horrifying I hope we can still be friends based on our commitment to other areas.  I'm one of those rare and notorious eastern Massachusetts carnivorous environmentalists.  

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 03:56:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sounds like a great idea! (5+ / 0-)

    I love citizen science projects, and participate in several of the "Zooniverse" online projects.  I hope this project gets some good participation and gathers some useful data.

    I live in the Midwest, though.  A bit far to help out with this project -- no ocean coast for quite a few miles. :-(

  •  Japan (2+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, divineorder
    Hidden by:

    Lots of people look at Japanese at being the smartest people on the earth,this what got the nation of Japan in this trouble , in a society where no one question authority ,still today Japan is getting above average radiation level in their  food chain, as a person , I would not accept anything process  from Japan

  •  Scripps Pier is not a public pier (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, divineorder

    The folks at Scripps Institution of Oceanography would have to take the water samples there.

    There are many public piers in California and I'm sure there would be many people interested in providing water samples from them. A good contact would be the CA pier fishing forums at . There are people who fish each of the piers on those forums, and I'm sure many of them would be happy to help with this.

    •  Buried in the details is an appeal for money (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright, Jim P, divineorder, Ender

      I thought they were looking for volunteers to send in samples, but it turns out they want at least $100 from you have your sample analyzed. They will exclude the average pier fisherman, who is not wealthy.

      I don't understand why citizens have to pop for environmental monitoring that is clearly a government responsibility.

      •  Hi atana (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Citizens are free to suggest and support new sampling locations that are accessible.  The samples are likely being made at a loss or with no-profit and individuals are free to pool resources.  Your point about crowd funding rather than government is well taken.  Government should be funding these measurements.

      •  Think of it another way (0+ / 0-)

        there are those who simply won't trust anything  currently being worked on by the various governments and their scientists on this issue. Now they can participate too with their own measuring. It's a check and balance type thing.

        Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility

        by terrypinder on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 04:51:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The government isn't doing it, but it needs to be (0+ / 0-)

        done, starting yesterday. Since we need a lot of data points, citizen scientists and crowd funding seems like a sensible way to go. At least until our government steps up.

        Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

        by Catskill Julie on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 05:53:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I read $550 to $600 required (0+ / 0-)

        I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

        by Ender on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 11:50:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Who Else but Citizens? (4+ / 0-)

    What government or industry body is interested in turning over that rock? Who wants to know where the radioactive waste goes once it's out of their area? Citizen scientists are the only ones who are willing and able to get this information and measure the impact of Fukushima, Chernobyl, and nuclear arms testing over the decades?

  •  Here's a site that I check once in a while (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, divineorder

    Because I was on the phone to Japan nearly every day because of my job, I knew people there when Fukushima happened.  We (at work) were all really worried about them but they were all OK.

    Because of that, when I ran across this site (see below), I bookmarked it.  For months, I checked it daily but seldom saw elevated readings.  Over time, I've noticed that the number of stations reporting in areas of the most concern (Japan and Hawaii, especially) decreased and I have no idea why.

    Now, I check it once or twice a month.

    Radiation Network

    They don't win until we quit fighting!

    by Eyesbright on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 03:26:20 PM PST

    •  Mineralab,LLC sells stuff...... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mamooth, Eyesbright

      Mineralab sells "compatable" geiger counters through their website  Mineralab, LLC also runs the website that points people to their store.  This appears to be more of a sales ploy than a valid scientific effort.

      Disclaimer: Mineralab, LLC, the operator of this web site, can not independently verify that the Radiation Levels, or any Radiation Alerts, that are displayed on this Radiation Map are correct and valid.  Among other possibilities, Geiger counter malfunctions or proximity of the counters to certain medical procedures or to radioactive items can cause high readings at a Monitoring Station.
      Citizen science may be better than nothing, but in this particular instance it appears that the good old profit motive is what is being served.

      It has always seemed strange to me...The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. - John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

      by ovals49 on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:52:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hi ovals49 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mamooth, Eyesbright

        Geiger counters are incapable of determining radiation that is from Fukushima and what is attributable to primordial, weapons tests and fuel reprocessing sources.  The levels that will reach the west coast in the Pacific will be milliBq/L of seawater.  This represents about 1/1000th of a disintegration per second. You simply can't detect these levels with a geiger.  That is why ~ 20 L (5 gallons) of seawater must be collected for each measurement and all radioactivity concentrated from it before it is measured by counting for days to weeks in a highly sensitive gamma detector.

  •  excellent idea. (3+ / 0-)

    i don't live on the west coast but i'll pass this along!

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility

    by terrypinder on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 04:49:48 PM PST

  •  Would samples have to come from (0+ / 0-)

    ocean piers or would  river mouth sampling at high tide also be helpful?

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 11:24:32 PM PST

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