Our 2022 donation supports Yosemite Conservancy’s grant that funds the research of contaminants in Yosemite's waters. The goal is to determine which contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are present in Yosemite, to then direct future research efforts on CECs and help the park understand the size of the threat of CECs to human and aquatic health.
Outstanding water quality is one of the protected values of the Merced and Tuolumne rivers. Given that these watersheds are vitally important drinking-water sources for millions of people, establishing better knowledge of the occurrence of CECs and identifying the most common CECs in the park is essential.
Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are substances found in everyday items, such as soap, medicine, clothing, water bottles, and bug spray. They cannot be removed by wastewater treatment plants, and knowledge of the presence and impacts of CECs is limited. Many CECs are harmful to humans and aquatic animals, but their concentration in the environment is often unknown due to difficulties sampling them and the recent recognition of their significance.
With the money from this grant, scientists at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks will partner with Yosemite to deploy samplers at 10 sites for 30 to 40 days, and five sites for 60 to 80 days during the busy summer season. The study results will be uploaded to the National Water Quality Monitoring Council’s Water Quality Portal and presented at the Croaking Toad lecture series in the park.