Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Ecotoxicology Research Areas


Dr. Nat Scholz
Program Manager
Staff Directory

Stormwater science: ecological impacts

Land-based sources of toxic runoff are an important cause of habitat degradation in coastal watersheds and nearshore marine environments throughout the United States. The Ecotoxicology Program conducts research to identify key threats to NOAA trust species and habitats. In recent years this work has focused on coho salmon as a sentinel species for ecological resiliency in western watersheds impacted by urbanization and stormwater runoff from roads, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces. The research has focused on the health and survival of salmon embryos, juveniles, and returning adult spawners, using a combination of laboratory studies, field assessments, population modeling, food web modeling, and land-use based ecological forecasting.

The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site NOAA Fisheries Service fact sheet on stormwater and salmon health

Program Contact

Nat Scholz

Project Staff

David Baldwin, Barbara French, John Incardona, Jana Labenia, Cathy Laetz, Tiffany Linbo, Nat Scholz, Sean Sol, Julann Spromberg, Maryjean Willis

NWFSC Co-Investigators

Eric Buhle, Blake Feist


NOAA Coastal Services Center, National Coastal Storms Program
The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site U.S. Fish and Wildlife Program, National Contaminants Program
The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10
The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Washington State University, Puyallup Stormwater Research Facility
The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site City of Seattle, Seattle Public Utilities
The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Wild Fish Conservancy
The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Suquamish Tribe


McIntyre, J.K., Lundin, J.I., Cameron, J.R., Chow, M.I., Davis, J.W., Incardona, J.P., and Scholz, N.L. 2018. Interspecies variation in susceptibility of adult Pacific salmon to toxic urban stormwater runoff. Environmental Pollution, 238:196-203.

Feist, B.E., Buhle, E.R., Baldwin, D.H., Spromberg, J.A., Davis, J.W., Damm, S.E., Davis, J.W., and Scholz, N.L. 2017. Roads to ruin: conservation threats to a sentinel species across an urban gradient. Ecological Applications, 27:2382-2396.

Du, B., Lofton, J.M., Peter, K.T., Gipe, A.D., James, C.A., McIntyre, J.K., Scholz, N.L., Baker, J.E., and Kolodziej, E.P. 2017. Suspect and non-target screening of organic contaminants and potential toxicants in highway runoff and fish tissue with high-resolution time of flight mass spectrometry. Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, 19:1185-1196.

Scholz, N.L. and McIntyre, J.K. 2015. Chemical pollution. In: Conservation of freshwater fishes. G.P. Closs, M. Krkosek, and J.D. Olden (eds.). Cambridge University Press, pp. 149-178.

Scholz, N. L., M. S. Myers, S. G. McCarthy, J. S. Labenia, J. K. McIntyre, G. M. Ylitalo, L. D. Rhodes, C. A. Laetz, C. M. Stehr, B. L. French, B. McMillan, D. Wilson, L. Reed, K. D. Lynch, S. Damm, J. W. Davis, T. K. Collier. 2011. Recurrent die-offs of Adult Coho Salmon Returning to Spawn in Puget Sound Lowland Urban Streams. PLoS ONE, 6(12):e28013. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028013

Spromberg, J. A., Scholz, N. L. 2011. Estimating the future decline of wild coho salmon populations due to early spawner die-offs in urbanizing watersheds of the Pacific Northwest. Integrated Environmental Management and Assessment 7(4):648-656.

Feist BE, Buhle ER, Arnold P, Davis JW, Scholz NL (2011) Landscape Ecotoxicology of Coho Salmon Spawner Mortality in Urban Streams. PLoS ONE 6(8): e23424. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023424

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