Chronic Marine Pollution: A Maine Case Study

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by Anne C. Johnson, Maine Audubon Society, Falmouth, ME, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87:

Abstract: The State of Maine has adopted the concept of cumulative impact in assessing the environmental impact of coastal development projects and resulting discharges to coastal waters. In the absence of a mechanism for assessing the cumulative effects of several projects, or of a single project over time, the immediate impact of individual projects remains the standard by which development is regulated. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection, in conjunction with the Maine Audubon Society, has developed a cumulative impact assessment program. Initially, this program will provide the baseline information against which proposed impacts can be judged. Multivariate analysis of benthic community data will be used to detect relationships between changes in community structure and any existing gradients of contamination. The results can then be used to assess the relative impact of additional contaminant input. The proposed program is preliminary and experimental but represents an innovative application of state-of-the-art ecosystem research to the formulation of environmental policy and regulations.

Subject Headings: Case studies | Pollution | Sea water | Water pollution | Information management | Water discharge | Ecosystems | Data analysis | North America | Maine | United States

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