Toxic Contaminant Uptake in Dredged Sediment Marshes

by Rashid A. Khalid, MEL Inc, Baton Rouge, LA, USA,
Sandra J. Russell, MEL Inc, Baton Rouge, LA, USA,
Brian G. Marcks, MEL Inc, Baton Rouge, LA, USA,
William G. Kennedy, MEL Inc, Baton Rouge, LA, USA,
Jeffrey S. Heaton, MEL Inc, Baton Rouge, LA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Dredging and Dredged Material Disposal


Dredged sediments from the proposed enlargement of the Lower Mississippi River from Venice, Louisiana to the Gulf of Mexico would be primarily utilized to create up to 28,000 hectares of new marshes. The objectives of this study were to predict the potential bioaccumulation of toxic contaminants associated with dredged sediments by marsh vegetation and their transport to the nearshore Gulf waters. Contaminant levels in sediments, interstitial water, and marsh plants growing in the naturally accreted and dredged material disposal site marshes were measured. The results indicated below-detectable to low levels of contaminants present in the sediments and marsh plants growing in the sediments. Lack of any appreciable contaminant biomagnification suggests that dredged sediments can be utilized to create new marshes with minimal contaminant transport from sediments to aquatic organisms feeding on marsh vegetation.

Subject Headings: Sediment | Dredging | Pollutants | Toxicity | Contaminant transport | Vegetation | Gulfs | Dredged materials | Mississippi River | Italy | Europe | Louisiana | United States | Gulf of Mexico

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