Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Mercury in the Sound's Watershed

A trip north reveals high levels of mercury at the source of the Connecticut River, on the New Hampshire-Canada border. The Hartford Courant reports:

At tiny Fourth Connecticut Lake on the Canadian border, the very beginning of the 410-mile-long Connecticut and accessible only by a hike of more than a half-mile through spruce forest, the sediments are laced with mercury.

... Mercury in rivers is so pervasive that 47 states now have posted advisories either statewide or for specific waters instructing people to limit their intake of freshwater fish. The New Hampshire fish consumption advisory is statewide, and even stricter for fish taken from several impoundments of the Connecticut in New Hampshire and Vermont. Predator fish species from those impoundments carry high levels of mercury in their flesh.

Read through the story for some interesting information about airborne nitrogen. The nation's rivers are essentially conveyor belts of nitrogen to estuaries and coastal waters.

Quote of the day:

"It's an incredible commentary on where we're at in America, environmentally," said Brian O'Donnell of Enfield, Conn., who had just climbed up the bank of the Connecticut River after a morning of fishing.


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