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The purpose of this diary is to inform the DailyKos community of a newly funded monitoring program that will look for the presence of Fukushima derived radionculides in seawater and marine organisms collected off the coast of British Columbia, Canada.  The diary is part of an ongoing series dedicated to understanding the impact of the Fukushima disaster on the North Pacific Ocean and inhabitants of the west coast of North America. Information about the project can be found at the project website.  Once exciting aspect of the project will be the direct involvement of citizen scientists who will provide seawater samples up and down the Pacific coast.  If you are in British Columbia and are interested in helping with the project please find contacts here. More below the fold from a University of Victoria press release.

University of Victoria Press Release

Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring (InFORM) Network: A collaborative radiation monitoring network to determine and communicate environmental risks for Canada’s Pacific and Arctic Oceans from the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident

A new marine radioactivity monitoring network that will engage scientists in Canada and the US, health experts, non-governmental organizations—and citizen scientists along the British Columbia coast.

The InFORM Network—which stands for Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring—is being funded by $630,000 over three years by the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR).

Since the 2011 tsunami and Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, there’s been widespread concern along the coast of western North America about the potential danger posed by low-level radioactivity crossing the Pacific Ocean.

“There’s great public demand for information about the impact of the Fukushima disaster on the marine ecosystem and on the health of British Columbians,” says Cullen. “Our goal is to provide the public with the best information possible about risks to the environment and their health.”

Research partners in the network include: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts; Health Canada; the University of Ottawa; the University of British Columbia; and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).

Ocean circulation models disagree on the timing and concentrations of radioactive elements expected off BC. The radioactive plume of seawater arrived along our coast in June 2013, and levels detected so far don’t pose a health risk.

“In the next few years, as the highest concentrations from this plume arrive, we need to know what the concentrations are and what kind of risks they pose,” says Cullen. “And we won’t know that unless we monitor the situation properly.”

The network will involve NGOs such as the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, the Georgia Strait Alliance, the Raincoast Education Society, the Living Oceans Society and the David Suzuki Foundation, which will help with public outreach, information transfer, and recruitment and training of citizen scientists.

The plan is to set up 10 to 15 community sites along the BC coast where volunteer citizen scientists will collect water and seafood samples monthly or bimonthly for analysis.

Those samples will supplement measurements already being taken offshore by DFO and an existing citizen scientist network coordinated by Woods Hole that extends from the Bering Strait to San Diego.

“End-user involvement is a key pillar of this network,” says Cullen. “By engaging directly with the public, we’re inviting those with a stake and interest in marine environmental risk assessment to get involved.”

Cullen says results will be disseminated online and through community town hall meetings up and down the coast. He’s currently setting up an InFORM website, and results will also be posted on the www.ourradioactiveocean.org/ website hosted by Woods Hole.

MEOPAR is a team of Canadian researchers in the natural and social sciences who are trying to better understand and predict the impact of marine hazards on human activities and ecosystems. It’s hosted by Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia and funded by the federal Networks of Centre of Excellence Program.

For more information on the InFORM network, visit the InFORM project website and Facebook, follow @FukushimainFORM on Twitter for project specific updates.

Originally posted to MarineChemist on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 10:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by SciTech.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is the concern about radiation from Fukushima , (0+ / 0-)

    "silliness" in your opinion ?

    especially all the silliness about the radiation from Fukushima

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 11:10:49 AM PDT

    •  Hi indycam (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, kurt, Joffan, Gwennedd

      Who are you quoting above?  You should really attribute quotes you use.

      I don't think that being concerned about radionuclides in the environment is silly.  I think having the best information at hand to make decisions about your health and to understand potential impacts of the Fukushima disaster on the environment is important.

      •  I'm intentionally not attributing . (0+ / 0-)

        I just wanted to know if you were in agreement with the idea .

        I don't think that being concerned about radionuclides in the environment is silly.
        We are in agreement .  Not silly at all .

        "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

        by indycam on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 11:24:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Use of the blockquote tag implies that you are... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Nucleo, Gwennedd

          ...quoting the diary, a previous comment or an external source. You made me go back and scan the diary for those words, and all for naught. That was inconsiderate of you.

          In the future, please "put things in quotes", emphasis them with italics or distinguish them with bold. Save the blockquote for quotations.

          “Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.”
          ― Ambrose Bierce, The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary

          “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
          he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

          by jjohnjj on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 01:41:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  well, then let's rephrase the question, shall we? (0+ / 0-)

          MC, do you think assertions that the whales are fleeing to California to escape the Fukushima radiation, are silly?

          How about claims that radiation from Fukushima is killing or injuring people in California?

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 03:08:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  he's quoting me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joffan

        He's waging a personal war, and doesn't have the balls to say so out loud.  (shrug)

        And I am correct. Baloney from the lunatic fringe like "the whales are fleeing to California to escape the Fukushima radiation !!!" is silliness.  Pure and simple.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 03:07:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't be daft (6+ / 0-)

      There is an appropriate level of concern about the transport of nuclides, and there is the deliberately stupid  nonsense in places like ENE News that is good only for scaring the ignorant and the gullible.

    •  since our commenter here is too dishonest to (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, erush1345, KenBee, skod

      quote the entire comment I made, allow me to do it for him:

      I'm in pretty much the same situation with nukes (0+ / 0-)

      as I am with GMO----I've been anti-nuke since the 70's, but all my gripes are social, economic and political, not scientific.  Most of the "scientific arguments" I've seen from my fellow anti-nukers have been (especially all the silliness about the radiation from Fukushima), alas, scientific nonsense and betray a serious lack of science literacy.

      But I basically consider nukes no longer worth fighting over. Simple economics killed them in the 70's, and as Duke Energy's cancellation of its two new planned nukes in Florida showed, simple economics still kills them today. They won't get built, whether anyone wants them to or not.

      PS--nukes do not have any smaller lifetime carbon footprint than renewables do.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 10:08:54 AM EDT

      Intellectual dishonesty such as this disgusting example of selective quote-mining, should not be tolerated here.

      Not to mention dragging a personal war from another diary into this one where it does not belong.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 03:19:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I must agree and tip this comment / nm (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lenny Flank

        "As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce." - Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations

        by ozsea1 on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 06:13:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  quoting out of context (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lenny Flank, Joffan

      is very very sloppy.

      I'm being polite.

      "As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce." - Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations

      by ozsea1 on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 06:18:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If I lived in Tokyo, I'd be really concerned about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whenwego, ozsea1

    radionuclides from Fukushima.

    I'd also be quite concerned about anything caught within 200mi of there in the ocean (especially Tuna and other predators).

    There is no reason to conceal evidence of the passage of these nuclear products across the Pacific.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 12:31:46 PM PDT

    •  but alas . . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erush1345
      There is no reason to conceal evidence of the passage of these nuclear products across the Pacific.
      there is also no evidence of significant passage of nuclear products from Fukushima across the Pacific TO conceal.  (shrug)

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 03:11:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whose definition of "significant?" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TakeSake, ozsea1

        Showing the data as opposed to saying it is "insignificant" doesn't do a whole lot mollify people.

        Demonstrating how large a volume it gets diluted in as the concentration of Cs and other byproducts drops off DOES.

        I'm a scientist, man.  Back off. ;)

        Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
        I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
        —Spike Milligan

        by polecat on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 08:13:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What's your take on "citizen scientist networks"? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erush1345, skod

    Amateur comet-spotters and the annual Christmas bird count are OK, but I would think that in the realm of physics and chemistry, researchers want firm control and validation of their data sources.

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 01:56:04 PM PDT

    •  Hi jjohnjj (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, KenBee, skod

      In this case the probability of compromising sample integrity through contamination etc. is very low.  I think this is almost an ideal project for citizen scientist involvement.

      •  money quote - in its complete sentence (0+ / 0-)
        I think this is almost an ideal project for citizen scientist involvement.
        The stars must be in good alignment.

        "As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce." - Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations

        by ozsea1 on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 06:16:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm quite active in a couple of citizen observer (0+ / 0-)

        networks: radiationnetwork.com and radmon.org, as well as having participated in the Weather Underground personal weather station activity for over 10 years. I have a geiger counter mounted outside in an environmental housing monitoring airborne background counts, and upload my readings 24/7 to those two networks. I'm not close to the coast, or I'd be actively participating in that effort as well.

        Citizen scientists can indeed make valuable contributions here. The hardware takes some time to fully understand, and one must always guard against a rush to judgement. Credibility is very hard to earn and trivially easy to squander...

        In the time that I've been monitoring (since March of 2013), I've had excellent results correlating my measurements with those reported by the EPA Radnet site in Denver, and following the background changes driven by weather (radon rainouts and the like). What I have not seen is any evidence that the sky is falling...

        I've documented some of my findings in my Weather Underground blog: http://www.wunderground.com/... .

  •  can you say something about the Tuna industry? (0+ / 0-)

    claims made by fear mongers say that the tuna pick up radiation from Japanese waters, contaminated and then circulate, that they have high radiation counts, and point out Mexico's closed tuna fishery (and may or may not mention their season was closing with the quotas already filled.)

    And is there a difference in the species and age/size of tuna, is it all safe?

    does any of that mean anything or is it all nonsense?

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 10:45:06 PM PDT

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

      There are a number of studies that have been published with respect to Pacific tuna and their Cs isotope composition.  I've written about them here and here for example.

      The levels of Fukushima derived Cs present in migratory species thus far are detectable but low so that the additional health risk associated with their consumption is small.  Most of the Cs present in the fish is actually a legacy of 20th century atmospheric nuclear weapons testing in fact.

      I would think, but can't say for sure, that the Mexican government might be trying to regulate the fishery given that many populations of Pacific tuna are overfished rather than any concern about Fukushima derived radioactivity.

  •  I think this is a great idea. I've seen it before, (0+ / 0-)

    likely through the David Suzuki Foundation. I wish I could help, but my town is Port Alberni and you need measurements from Tofino and Ucluelet as well as the Mainland coast.

    A fo ben, bid bont. - Welsh proverb. ( translation: If you want to be a leader, be a bridge.)

    by Gwennedd on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:15:47 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the update. (0+ / 0-)

    It had been a while since your last post, glad to see you're still around.

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