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(P309) An evaluation of sediment contamination in St. Andrew Bay, Florida.
Brim, Michael*,1, Hemming, Jon1, 1 US Fish and Wildlife Service, Panama City Field Office, Panama City, FL, US
ABSTRACT- Between 1985 and 1997, a general survey of St. Andrew Bay, Florida, was conducted to measure chemical contaminant concentrations in the sediments and selected biota. The Bay is a 27,900 hectare (69,000 acre) high-salinity estuary located in the northwest "panhandle" of the State. Sediment samples were collected at 105 locations within the Bay and analyzed for metals, organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and aliphatic hydrocarbons. Sediment samples were evaluated using recently published sediment quality guidelines, scored for total chemical contamination, and ranked and categorized to allow comparison between sediment stations. Five sediment samples were also analyzed (1994 - 1997) for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans. Based on the evaluation of sediment samples, contamination of sediments has occurred in St. Andrew Bay. Both historic and contemporary human activities are responsible for this contamination. These activities include: urban stormwater runoff, municipal and industrial point source discharges, historic oil spillage, marina repair operations, and pollution associated with commercial vessels and recreational boats. While some sites in the open Bay have experienced varying degrees of contamination, the most acute impacts have occurred in some of the bayous of the Bay; notably Watson Bayou, Massalina Bayou, Martin Lake, and Shoal Point Bayou. Evaluation of invertebrate and fish samples collected in 1985 and 1986 revealed some moderate contamination in the tissues of the species tested. Effects of this contamination on species survival and reproduction are, to date, unknown. Sediment samples analyzed for dioxin compounds at seven locations in St. Andrew Bay (including two locations sampled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) had toxicity equivalent (TEQ) concentrations that ranged from 2 to 33 picograms/gram (ppt) dry weight.
Key words: sediment, contamination, St. Andrew Bay, estuaries
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