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Professor’s Novel Mercury-Mapping Project Wins State Grant

September 19, 2018

Civil and environmental engineering Professor Erin Hestir’s proposal for a unique system of mapping mercury in the waters of the San Francisco Delta has won her and her team of collaborators a $1.7 million grant from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

The CDFW is dividing up almost $28 million generated by Proposition 1 bond sales, the result of the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act voters approved in 2014. Hestir’s three-year project is one of 24 Restoration Grant programs approved for this year.

She and her colleagues at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park and the USGS California Water Science Center in Sacramento, are developing rapid, easy-to-use techniques to analyze the amount of mercury and methylmercury in the surface waters of the San Francisco Bay Delta.

“It’s typically a very expensive undertaking, but officials are concerned about the amount of mercury and methylmercury in the Delta, and they take the monitoring and measurements very seriously,” Hestir said.