Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2022_DE_Li

Assessing the transport, transformation, and fate of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) across the land-sea transition

Institute: Delaware
USGS Grant Number:
Year Established: 2022 Start Date: 2022-12-01 End Date: 2025-11-30
Total Federal Funds: $249,486 Total Non-Federal Funds: $249,486

Principal Investigators: Mi-Ling Li

Abstract: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are man-made chemicals that cause serious public health problems. Few studies have investigated how PFAS moves through watersheds and into our water supplies and ecosystems. The goal of this study is to understand how PFAS moves and chemically reacts in surface water and groundwater along the transition from freshwater to saline habitats. We will collect water and sediment samples in coastal watersheds with different PFAS sources and land uses. We will also conduct experiments in the laboratory to understand how microbes might affect PFAS in rivers and wetlands. The results of this project will greatly improve our understanding of the movement and fate of PFAS in the environment and can be directly used to develop models for predicting PFAS fate and transport in the future so that we can protect our precious coastal water supplies and ecosystems.