Elizabeth River Site
Over the years, one of our research projects (currently Project 3) has focused on a Superfund Site located on the Elizabeth River in Virginia, the Atlantic Wood Industries site. The site (~ 48 acres located on the waterfront of Portsmouth, VA), a former wood treatment facility has left the Elizabeth River heavily contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The EPA is working with communities near the site to reclaim it, you can read more about this process here.
Duke is conducting research to better understand how the PAH contamination is impacting fish populations in the Elizabeth River. So far, we’ve found that Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) have developed resistance to acute toxicity, heart deformities, and cancers that are linked to PAH exposure. But, what has it cost the Atlantic killifish for them to develop this resistance?