Shellfish poisoning project to compete


May 9, 2013


The following news release is shared on behalf of the Alaska Waste Water Management Association. Congratulations to two Polaris K-12 students who will compete in a national competition this summer.


Media Contacts: AWWMA: Angie Monteleone, (907) 561-9777,
National WEF: Lori Harrison, (703) 684-2480, May 3, 2013


[Anchorage, Alaska] -- Chelsea Parrocha and Taylor Seitz, students in the BioTaPP Program at Polaris K-12 in Anchorage, have been named Alaska's state winners of the 2013 Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) competition -- the most prestigious youth award for a water-related science project. Selected for their project: Potential Lateral Flow Test Design for the Detection of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning, Chelsea and Taylor will represent Alaska at the national competition June 14 and 15, 2013 at the Red Lion Hotel on the River -- Jantzen Beach, Portland Oregon.


The purpose of the SJWP is to increase students' interest in water-related issues and research, and to sensitize them -- as future leaders -- to global water challenges. The competition is open to projects aimed at improving quality of life through improvement of water quality, water resources management, water protection, and water and wastewater treatment.


One of four total projects received, Chelsea and Taylor's entry was very timely and relevant to water quality issues facing the health and safety of our community.


"Good topic -- developing a practical tool for quick on-site testing; nice work improving on previous prototypes and providing good ideas for further improvements."

- Cindy Titus, AWWMA President


"Parrocha and Seitz had the best paper. Their approach was creative and focused... If these young researchers continue to develop this procedure, and it succeeds, this could be quite competitive nationally"

- Michael Pollen, NTL Alaska Inc., and past president of the Water Environment Federation.


"Both Chelsea and Taylor are bright young scientists who have worked hard on this project, never giving up and showing great resilience. We would like to thank the primary funding/support coming from University of Alaska BioPREP program. Without their contributions this project wouldn't have been possible.

- Aaron Kallas, BioTaPP Instructor, Polaris K-12 School.


As a professional association of water quality experts, Alaska Water Wastewater Management Association is extremely proud to send Parrocha and Seitz to the national competition. In the United States, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and its Member Associations organize the national, state, and regional SJWP competitions with support from Xylem Inc. (also the international sponsor). AWWMA selected and will sponsor Parrocha and Seitz to the 2013 national competition in Portland.


If selected as national winners, each will receive $5,000 (USD) and an all-expense-paid trip to Stockholm, Sweden for the international competition - as well as the opportunity to present their research to water quality experts at WEFTEC 2013 this October in Chicago, Illinois. In addition, the two runner's up students, or team, will receive $1,000 each.


The national winner will represent the United States at the international competition in Stockholm, Sweden during World Water Week, September 1-6, 2013. The international winner will receive an additional $5,000 (USD) presented during a royal ceremony by the prize's Patron HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. For more information about SJWP, visit


About WEF Formed in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization with 36,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. WEF and its Member Associations proudly work to achieve our mission of preserving and enhancing the global water environment.


About AWWMA Alaska Water Wastewater Management Association ( is the Alaska Member Association of the Water Environment Federation ( Dedicated to Clean Safe Water for Alaska, AWWMA also manages the Alaska Section of the American Water Works Association

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