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(IP20) Biomonitoring in NOAAs National Estuarine Search Reserves.
Lauenstein, Gunnar*,1, Cantillo, Adriana1, 1 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, MD, USA
ABSTRACT- Inputs of toxic chemicals provide one of the major types of anthropogenic stress threatening our nation's coastal and estuarine waters. To assess this threat, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAAs) National Status and Trends (NS&T) Program Mussel Watch Project monitors the concentrations of more than 70 toxic chemicals in sediments and on the whole soft-parts of mussels and oysters at over 300 sites around the U.S. Twenty of the 25 designated areas that comprise NOAA's National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) have one or more Mussel Watch monitoring sites. Trace elements and organic contaminants were quantified including As, Ag, Cd, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Zn, PCBs, PAHs, DDT and its metabolites, and butyltins. The Mussel Watch sites located in or near the 20 Reserves provide for both status and trends. Generally the Reserves have trace element and organic contaminant concentrations that are at or below the median concentration determined for all NS&T Mussel Watch monitoring data. Trends were derived using the Spearman-rank correlation coefficient. It was possible to determine if trends exist for sites at which six or more years of data are available. Generally no trends were found for trace elements but when trends were found they were usually decreasing. The same general conclusion holds for organic contaminants but more decreasing trends were found than for trace elements. The greatest number of decreasing trends were found for tributyltin and its metabolites.
Key words: biomonitoring, contaminants, estuaries, reserves
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