An environmental study published this week has affirmed what we have already thought: Pacific Northwest waters contain a jolt of caffeine.
One could only assume that local wildlife would also be affected by the low-to-high levels of caffeine that was recently found present in 14 coastal locations off Oregon.
“We humans drink caffeinated beverages because caffeine has a biological effect on us—so it isn’t too surprising that caffeine affects other animals, too,” stated the Portland State University faculty adviser in charge of the study in a press release.
Interestingly, higher levels of the caffeine are found in lesser populated areas where the absence of water treatment systems allows for more caffeine to enter waterways. Since caffeine doesn’t originate from any native species of plants, we may also ponder a significant amount of that caffeine from coffee that gets dumped into the water from our storm drains every time it rains (researchers say more studies are necessary).
So where does that leave us? Do we have caffeine-addicted wildlife near Seattle? Perhaps.
What we do know is that our unfinished coffee can find its way down into our local waters from any number of different ways, having a yet unknown effect on local wildlife – which deserves serious thought and further study.
In a city like Seattle where storm drains are nearly as plentiful as coffee shops, our local water could have measurable caffeine levels that have may have our local and potentially caffeine-addicted fish praying for more rain… stay tuned…