The Ecotoxicology and Environmental Chemistry Programs recently bid a fond farewell to the Harold W. Streeter, a workhorse for pollution research in Puget Sound and beyond for the past 40 years. The 45 foot-long research vessel was built in 1962 and operated on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers before arriving at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in 1973. The Streeter was in heavy use in the decades that followed, often logging more than 100 days at sea in a given year as a platform for major pollution surveillance studies. Examples include:
- The Marine Ecosystems and Analysis (MESA) Program in Puget Sound (mid- to late 1970s).
- Research on legacy pollutants and fish health, in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Cancer Institute (1980s — 1990s).
- A long-term study on the reproductive biology of English sole in Puget Sound, as a sentinel species for endocrine-disrupting chemicals (1980s — mid-2000s).
- An extensive natural resource injury in the historically contaminated Hylebos Waterway in Tacoma, Washington (1990s).
- The Puget Sound Ambient Monitoring Program, in collaboration with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (mid-1990s — early 2010s).
- The Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) in Puget Sound, in collaboration with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (late 1990s — mid-2000s).
- A multiyear investigation of fish health in proximity to an aluminum smelter in Kitimat, British Columbia (mid-2000s).
Over these many years of service, the Streeter supported pioneering research on toxic chemical contaminants in the marine environment and their associated threats to NOAA trust resources and human health. The ship will be missed by a generation of Center scientists that once belonged to what are now the Ecotoxicology and Environmental Chemistry Programs.