California’s coastal aquatic environments are under constant pressures derived from highly developed urban and residential zones and their diverse, extensive activities. Among several anthropogenic pressures, the entry and bioaccumulation of contaminant chemicals presents a particularly challenging and complex problem, given the potential impact of these chemicals on health of wild organisms and, by extension, ecosystems. Although thousands of compounds are detectable, only about 200 are routinely monitored and regulated by governmental agencies. “Contaminants of emerging concern” (CECs) include pharmaceuticals, new-use pesticides, personal use compounds, and various industrial chemicals. Understanding whether and to what degree specific compounds persist in the environment and affect organism health is critical for effective management and sustainability of California’s environments.
Jesus Reyes is the president of the Pacific Coast Environmental Conservancy (PCEC). The organization’s mission is to facilitate science-based understanding, solutions, and education, and it is at the forefront of addressing these critical issues. Projects are developing and applying cutting edge analytical technologies to evaluate environmental effects of pollutants, in collaboration with a variety of partners ranging from academic researchers to community groups. In addition to its involvement in environmental research and monitoring, PCEC has also developed an environmental education and outreach program that focuses on engaging middle and high school student in environmental sciences.
Reyes co-founded the PCEC. Reyes also teaches science courses at CSULB and other regional colleges, in environmental, marine and physiological sciences.
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