UNDERSTANDING MERCURY IN THE ENVIRONMENT
Scientists at UW-Madison are participating in a landmark international study to determine how quickly mercury in rainfall shows up in fish that people eat. There is an intense debate over requirements for expensive emissions controls, yet scientific understanding is lacking about how effective such controls would be. Information is needed on how "new" mercury added to a watershed reacts relative to "old' mercury stored in soils and lake sediments. With funds from the Water Resources Institute, UW-Madison water chemist James Hurley is working with an international team of scientists who are experimentally adding small amounts of mercury to a lake in Ontario, Canada, to trace mercury through the lake and into fish. The study is also assessing the relative importance of different pathways mercury follows when it enters ecosystems via watersheds, wetlands, and lake surfaces. Initial findings suggest new mercury moves into the sediments of a lake within several weeks and into fish within a year. The results of this study could have direct, major impacts on the development of mercury emission standards.
CONTACT: James Hurley, (608) 262-1136, firstname.lastname@example.org
WATER BOOKS FLOW THROUGHOUT WISCONSIN
A UW-Madison library specializing in water-related information has opened doors to all Wisconsin residents. Wisconsin's Water Library is an online resource for Wisconsinites who want to know more about their state's lakes, rivers, groundwater, and wetlands. Topics also include ice fishing, building a pond, water gardening, and environmentally friendly lawn and garden care. Housed at the UW-Madison Aquatic Sciences Center, the library holds almost 30,000 volumes of books, videos, journals, recommended reading lists and links to reliable on
Contact: Brian Mattmiller
University of Wisconsin-Madison