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PT13 Aquatic Ecotoxicology I
(PT212) Evaluation of Stormwater Effects on Nearshore Communities.
Ward, J1, May, C1, Thom, R1, 1 Battelle Marine Sciences Laboratory, Sequim, WA, USA
ABSTRACT- Research suggests that stormwater runoff from urbanized areas is a major contributor to the degradation of rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands, estuaries, and other receiving waters. Stormwater runoff from urbanized areas is generated from a number of sources, including residential neighborhoods, commercial and industrial areas, roads, highways, and bridges. Essentially, any surface that does not have the capability to store and infiltrate water will produce runoff during storm events that ultimately may end up in nearshore ecosystems. Chemicals or constituents that are commonly found in stormwater include metals, oils and grease compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and pesticides. These compounds come from many sources, including automobiles, industrial and urban activities, and accidental or intentional spills or discharges. Because current environmental restorations in Puget Sound are directed at enhancing both ecosystem structure and function, an integrated evaluation of the potential environmental effects of stormwater discharges is required to determine whether these sources of contaminant and noncontaminant stressors need to be addressed at the conceptual model stage of restoration planning. This presentation describes a method for assessing the potential effects of stormwater discharges on nearshore communities by measuring the chemical concentration of the source, creating a laboratory cocktail that resembles the concentrations of the observed complex mixture, and evaluating apparent acute and chronic effects under controlled laboratory conditions using a dilution series. The results are expressed in the form of toxic units, which are a numerical way of describing the complex mixture through comparison of individual compounds with published standards. We believe this approach will provide restoration ecologists with a means of making a semiquantitative determination of stormwater effects during the conceptual model phase of a restoration project.
Key words: Toxicity, Stormwater, Toxic, Unit
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