What is the SRST?

The South River Science Team was established in 2001 and began conducting studies to understand how mercury enters the South River and why mercury in South River and South Fork Shenandoah River fish continues to remain elevated some 60 years after it was used at the former DuPont facility in Waynesboro, Virginia. Through many local outreach activities, the SRST increases the awareness of the fish consumption advisories and communicates the findings from research and pilot project activities.

Including a collaborative team of scientists representing DuPont; local, state and federal governments; the larger academic community in Virginia and local environmental groups, the SRST evaluates South River data, field activities, and proposals for future work – all with an eye toward identifying, managing and reducing risks to the public from mercury contamination. A listing of team members' roles and goals is below.

Additionally, the SRST collaborates with nationally and internationally recognized experts in the field of mercury. These experts keep the team up to date on the most recent information and innovations pertaining to mercury in the environment, recommends issues to explore and provides feedback on proposed team activities. Experts names are listed below along with their affiliation.

  • David Hirschman is the Program Director at the Center for Watershed Protection in Charlottesville, Virginia. His expertise focuses on watershed issues, knowledge of local issues, and collaboration experiences with stakeholder groups.
  • William Clements is a professor at Colorado State University based in Fort Collins, Colorado. His expertise focuses on stream ecology and restoration as well as long-term monitoring.
  • Ralph Turner owns RT Geosciences, in Squamish, British Columbia, and specializes in the complexities of mercury contamination and the biogeochemistry of ecosystems.

Members' Roles and Goals

State Agencies

  • Protect and enhance Virginia's environment
  • Promote the health and well-being of the citizens
  • Provide education, outreach, and participatory opportunities
  • Perform monitoring, assessment, and enforcement
  • Develop total maximum daily load limits for impaired waters
  • Implement Best Management Practices to improve water quality
  • Manage fish to obtain optimum populations to serve the needs of the Commonwealth
  • Work collaboratively with the regulated community and citizens
  • Ensure that consumption advisories are protective


  • Serve as a leader in safety, health, and the environment
  • Conduct business with respect and care for the environment
  • Realize that healthy businesses need healthy communities
  • Promote open discussion with stakeholders
  • Recognize the interdependence of social progress, economic success, and environmental excellence
  • Invest in science education and scientific research
  • Recognize the impact of manufacturing operations on the environment

Federal Agencies

  • Ensure compliance and enforcement
  • Perform inspection, monitoring, planning, pollution prevention, risk assessment, and education and outreach
  • Collaborate with state partners to achieve greater environmental results
  • Enhance environmentally responsible land use development
  • Create a culture of innovation that promotes original, inventive approaches to solving environmental problems
  • Rely on science and technology to evaluate risk, develop standards, and identify solutions
  • Determine the impact of contaminants on living resources


  • Prepare students to be educated and enlightened citizens
  • Nurture students who will take the lead in making legacy decisions
  • Encourage educational experiences through undergraduate research
  • Apply classroom learning to real-world situations
  • Make contacts to benefit future professional careers

Environmental Groups

  • Ensure that future generations inherit improved and protected streams, rivers, and estuaries across Virginia
  • Defend the quality of soil, air, woods, water, and wildlife
  • Find smart solutions that are good for the environment and the economy
  • Instill conservation ethics
  • Use a common-sense approach to conservation
  • Perform citizen-initiated water monitoring programs