Our community-based approach combined the lived experiences of anglers with our scientific research.
For this study, we partnered with six anglers who regularly fish the Huron and Rouge rivers, some of whom eat their catches. The anglers identified fish species for testing, selected sites for sample selection, and helped collect the fish for testing. Since subsistence anglers are at an elevated risk for PFAS exposure, the Ecology Center wanted to combine their lived experiences with the organization’s scientific knowledge to develop a more powerful, community-relevant study.
Jerrad, Clinton Township
“One of my favorite parts about fishing is sharing what I’ve caught. I’ll gather my friends, I’ll share with my family. And, it brings that connection from me to them in a great way. But, with fish consumption advisories like PFAS, it makes me worried about what I have already caught and sharing this with my family, who I know look forward to these fishing events.” – Jerrad
“I am a fisherwoman. I’m concerned because we have to eat this food and consume it, and take it home to our families. I’m concerned because we don’t know much about PFAS, and I want to know what kind of harm it would do to our bodies.” – Purple
“My friend Bill got me into being a citizen-scientist. I volunteer to fish for a greater goal, because we’re looking to see about PFAS contamination.” – Phil
“I’m an angler, and I have a relationship and kinship with other anglers. There’s a real independence in being able to get your own food. When you have that joy and sense of accomplishment about being able to eat the fish, there’s a real beauty in that. This study will help contribute to people’s health and well being.” – Erma
“When I was a kid we used to fish a creek, and between the rocks we could get crayfish, we could get rockbass. We want to spread the word that these chemicals are everywhere, and we have to figure out where they are and how to prevent it.” – Bill
“Both the Huron and Rouge Rivers are really important to my life and the work I do as an outdoorsman and ecologist. I’m interested in watershed stewardship and regulating corporations that pollute bodies of water and ultimately our human bodies. A big part of the work is increasing awareness around PFAS and the many ways we expose ourselves to PFAS.” – Antonio
Bill, Beverly Hills
“I love fishing and giving back to the community. With all the recent news about PFAS, I’m concerned about protecting our watersheds. We anglers have a role in helping understand the scope of the issue. We need to understand where it is, how much there is, and what it does to animals around us." – Bill