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(561) Assessment of Incremental Chemical Impacts to Fish and Wildlife in an Urban River.
Iannuzzi, Timothy*,1, Ludwig, David1, Armstrong, Tina1, Scott, Paul2, Thelen, John1, 1 BBL Sciences, 326 First Street, Suite 200, Annapolis, MD, USA2 BBL Sciences, 600 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
ABSTRACT- The lower Passaic River in northeastern New Jersey is one of the most urbanized and industrialized rivers in the world. Several investigations have recently been performed to characterize the history of the river's ecology as well as its current physical condition and level of chemical contamination. One key objective of these investigations is to characterize the present impacts from contaminants to fish and wildlife that utilize the river. In order to assess such impacts as accurately as possible, the environmental history of the river and the role that chemical contaminants have played in that history must be understood. Only then can the incremental contribution of contaminants to the degraded conditions of the river and the present impacts to fish and wildlife be understood. As a first step in this assessment process, we compiled and examined data and information from various river investigations. Our preliminary review of these studies suggests that contaminants are not the primary cause of the degraded ecology of the river. While contaminant impacts may exist in the river, much of what may be interpreted as toxicological impacts from contaminants (e.g., depressed populations of fish, shellfish, and birds) is more likely due to severe habitat limitations in the river that are the result of its industrial/urban history. In this presentation, we will evaluate sediment contaminant and toxicity data, fish and crab tissue contaminant data, a fish pathology investigation, fish and bird community surveys, and historical and present ecological habitat investigations.
Key words: Passaic River, contaminants, historical ecology, non-chemical stressors
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