HA1 Contaminated Harbour and River Sediment
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() Contaminant Fate and Effects in Harbor Systems.

Warren, C1, Mackay, D1, Hellou, J2, Ethier, A1, Lee, K2, 1 Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada2 Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

ABSTRACT- Harbors have traditionally been polluted from surface runoff, vessel effluents, contaminated river inputs, wastewater effluents and direct rainfall. As a result, the water column and sediments of harbors associated with municipal and industrial sites contain elevated concentrations of organic substances such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The bioaccumulation and toxicity of these substances can result in detrimental effects to biota and the environmental persistence of these compounds may also prolong the rate of natural recovery and/or the success of remedial strategies. Monitoring programs are often implemented in areas of concern with a focus on indicator species, such as benthic invertebrates or filter feeders. While considered to be essential by most resource managers, these tests are often expensive and provide limited data on the origin of the contaminants, their effects and the potential for restoration. We suggest that a valuable strategy is to complement the monitoring program with a mass balance fate model which incorporates segmented water column and sediments, bioaccumulation and food chain effects. This approach is illustrated by the development of a fugacity-based model for harbor systems with applications to PAHs in Halifax and Sydney Harbors, Nova Scotia, located on the east coast of Canada. It is concluded that even relatively simple and inexpensive models can add considerable value to the data generated in harbor monitoring programs and assist in formulating remediation plans.

Key words: fugacity, harbor, mass balance model, PAHs

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