An Overview of Chemical Contaminants Throughout the Coastal and Estuarine United States

by Bernard W. Gottholm, NOAA, Rockville, United States,
James Price, NOAA, Rockville, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91

Abstract: Informed decisions on the use and management of the nation's resources requires convenient access to current and reliable information. Since 1984, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) initiated the National Status and Trends (NS&T) Program for Marine Environmental Monitoring. The primary purpose of this program has been to monitor chemical contamination in sediments and in tissues of mollusks and fish and biological responses to contamination at over 300 sites throughout the coastal and estuarine United States. Geographic software developed through the NOAA Strategic Assessment Branch has facilitated computer displays of NS&T data using both large and small scale coastal and estuarine base maps. We will demonstrate using computer graphics how contaminant levels at NS&T sites in any single part of the coast or estuary can be compared among themselves and with sites over larger geographic scales. In addition to demonstrating spatial distributions of contamination, temporal trends can also be displayed for any selected combination of sites and contaminants.

Subject Headings: Estuaries | Chemicals | Computer software | Spatial distribution | Pollutants | Water pollution | Federal government | Seas and oceans | Environmental issues | North America | United States

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