Community Update

Ocean Wise Pollution Tracker

Oceanwise pollution tracker

Since 2015, Ocean Wise’s Pollution Tracker program has been measuring levels of contaminants in nearshore ocean sediments and mussels in BC. Pollution Tracker is a coast-wide, long-term marine pollution monitoring program that provides high quality data on contaminants of concern. This data is accessible online to the public at Neptune has supported the collection of sediment and mussels from site PMV4 in Burrard Inlet since 2018. This and other Pollution Tracker sites were selected to represent both remote and industrialized coastal areas and to address the interests of various partners.

Every three years, sediment and mussels are collected in collaboration with First Nations communities, port authorities, government agencies and community groups, and submitted to specialized laboratories for contaminant analysis. Recently Phase 3 results were reported, and they include highly technical information on the levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), cadmium, lead, mercury, dioxins and furans, legacy pesticides, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediment.

“The participation from Neptune and other partners ensures that Pollution Tracker can continue to monitor contaminant concentrations in Burrard Inlet,” says Bethany DeCourten, Manager of Ocean Wise’s Ocean Pollution Research Program. “The data collected allows us to examine trends over time and identify hotspots, which can be used to inform policymakers and support conservation efforts.”