An assessment of two decades of contaminant monitoring in the Nation’s Coastal Zone.

Kimbrough, K. L. and Lauenstein, G. G. and Christensen, J. D. and Apeti, D. A. (2008) An assessment of two decades of contaminant monitoring in the Nation’s Coastal Zone. Silver Spring, MD, NOAA/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, (NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS, 74)

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Executive Summary: Information found in this report covers the years 1986 through 2005. Mussel Watch began monitoring a suite of trace metals and organic contaminants such as DDT, PCBs and PAHs. Through time additional chemicals were added, and today approximately 140 analytes are monitored. The Mussel Watch Program is the longest running estuarine and coastal pollutant monitoring effort conducted in the United States that is national in scope each year. Hundreds of scientific journal articles and technical reports based on Mussel Watch data have been written; however, this report is the first that presents local, regional and national findings across all years in a Quick Reference format, suitable for use by policy makers, scientists, resource managers and the general public. Pollution often starts at the local scale where high concentrations point to a specific source of contamination, yet some contaminants such as PCBs are atmospherically transported across regional and national scales, resulting in contamination far from their origin. Findings presented here showed few national trends for trace metals and decreasing trends for most organic contaminants; however, a wide variety of trends, both increasing and decreasing, emerge at regional and local levels. For most organic contaminants, trends have resulted from state and federal regulation. The highest concentrations for both metal and organic contaminants are found near urban and industrial areas. In addition to monitoring throughout the nation’s coastal shores and Great Lakes, Mussel Watch samples are stored in a specimen bank so that trends can be determined retrospectively for new and emerging contaminants of concern. For example, there is heightened awareness of a group of flame retardants that are finding their way into the marine environment. These compounds, known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), are now being studied using historic samples from the specimen bank and current samples to determine their spatial distribution. We will continue to use this kind of investigation to assess new contaminant threats. We hope you find this document to be valuable, and that you continue to look towards the Mussel Watch Program for information on the condition of your coastal waters. (PDF contains 118 pages)

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: An assessment of two decades of contaminant monitoring in the Nation’s Coastal Zone.
Personal Creator/Author:
Kimbrough, K. L.
Lauenstein, G. G.
Christensen, J. D.
Apeti, D. A.
Series Name: NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS
Number: 74
Date: 2008
Publisher: NOAA/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
Place of Publication: Silver Spring, MD
Issuing Agency: United States National Ocean Service
Additional Information: Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment
Subjects: Ecology
Item ID: 2232
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2009 19:53
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2014 01:55

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