Toxins in Our Waterways
Mercury, PCB’s, and other toxins are present along the length of the Connecticut--in the same water and sediments where unknowing families play, swim, and catch and consume fish. For decades energy plants, industry, and trash disposal facilities have been major sources of mercury, PCB’s, and other toxins entering our waterways and the food chain. Children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to the health risks presented by these toxins. Though some sources of this pollution have been stopped or reduced, their toxic legacies can persist in waterways for years.
CRWC is working for clean water on all fronts--pushing for funding, enforcement, and public information. We are raising funds to build a community water quality testing lab; have begun our own pilot volunteer water quality testing program; and convened a forum to help broadcast results of an Environmental Protection Agency fish tissue contaminant study of mercury, PCB’s and other toxins in the river released in 2006 (data collected in 2000). Read CRWC's summary (PDF 17KB) of the report.
Eating what you catch
It's a sad commentary on the state of our national environment that one of life's simple pleasures -- catching a fish and eating it fresh -- may be hazardous to your health. Pollutants from both far away and from local run-off are found in many fish to be caught in the Connecticut River watershed, making them unsafe for eating in quantity. Follow the links below to see what the public health advisories are for each state:
Compounds of emerging concern
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products may contain endocrine disrupters that our wastewater treatment plants are ill-equipped to handle. While endocrine disrupters are found in profusion in some U.S. watersheds, it is unknown to what extent they occur in local waters. You can help keep pharmaceuticals and personal care products out of our waters by disposing of them properly. Never flush medicine or expired products down the toilet or in the sink. Two informative websites are: Environmental Protection Agency, and MA Dept. of Environmental Protection.
Photo credits: CRWC Staff
Image Credits at Right - Illustrations: Bill Singleton; Photos: Elisabeth Cianciola, David Deen, ©Chris Hardie, ©Al Braden www.albradenphoto.com, River Music drawn by Tom Dudley - Greenfield Recorder, CRWC Staff.