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2002 Research Grant Recipient - Grace Hung

Extreme Adventure
The salt marshes along the Bay of Fundy coastline are an important sanctuary for many species of shorebirds. But in certain areas, they also act as a repository for trace metals and other pollutants. Because of their ability to accumulate sediment, salt marshes provide a good record of pollution generated by human activity, explains Grace Hung, who recently completed a B.Sc. in geography at McGill University in Montréal. They act as a “sink for metals deposited from the atmosphere and tidal waters.”

Hung’s honours thesis, supported by a Royal Canadian Geographical Society research grant, focuses on lead levels in seven salt marshes between St. Andrews and Sackville, N.B. Her analysis of sediment samples shows that the wetlands in closest proximity to Saint John are most exposed to lead. “We still consider the Bay of Fundy as pretty pristine,” says Hung. “But where are these metals going, and how will they affect the ecosystem?”

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