We have acquired an all-wheel drive cargo van, and are now working on converting this into a fully functional mobile laboratory. This means designing, building, and deploying this vehicle – to be named Tracker as a community-oriented, mobile water pollution monitoring lab in support of healthy ecosystems in BC.
Tracker will fill a void
There currently exists no standardized, high quality water monitoring across jurisdictions in BC, limiting our understanding of emerging pollution concerns. We are therefore unaware of invisible contaminant threats to fish habitat, and surprised and perplexed by the occasional fish die-off, low returns, and detection of contaminants in fish-eating Resident killer whales.
Tracker will be available for regular onsite water quality assessments in watersheds in the region. The Tracker team will work alongside First Nations and other communities to build capacity and train watershed stewards.
Measuring hundreds of contaminants
Tracker will host a number of rugged instruments, and enable for the measurement of several contaminants in the field, including coliform bacteria, nutrients, metals, pesticides, and tracers of wastewater effluent. Tracker will provide an early and rapid assessment of the health of fish habitat, and will collect samples for additional analyses by partnering service labs. The latter will measure contaminants that can only be analyzed in specialized labs, including pharmaceuticals and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS; ‘forever chemicals’). The combined dataset will be summarized and shared within and among watersheds.
Water is essential for life. Water creates and sustains healthy habitats for salmon and for killer whales, and provides drinking water for people. Tracker will be deployed in BC watersheds and deliver expert insight into detected pollutants, and provide advice in support of community water pollution solutions.
We need your help
In late 2023, we acquired the vehicle that will be converted into Tracker. We are now designing the interior layout and identifying candidate lab instruments that may be deployed with Tracker.
We are seeking funds to complete this project, notably by:
- Contributing to the design and modification of the vehicle
- Contributing to the acquisition of analytical equipment for the mobile lab
- Contributing to field and safety gear
- Contributing to our annual operating cost (insurance, fuel, and maintenance)