Sediment baselines are critical for managing working harbors and evaluating the net impact of oil spills. In 2009 Kwiaht began monitoring two working harbors in the islands for total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) from leaked fuel, residual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from fuel and creosote- treated wood pilings, and metals from anti-fouling paints. Local students have been involved in dredging sediments, extracting oils and metals, and testing using colorimetry (visible light spectrophotometry) and ELISA immunoassays (using antibodies). Data is shared with port authorities and the Islands Oil Spill Association.
Cowlitz Bay sediments
Hughes Bay, Lopez Island