NOAA'S Monitoring of Ocean Dumping at the 106-Mile Dumpsite

by Andrew Robertson, NOAA/NOS, Rockville, United States,
Adriana Cantillo, NOAA/NOS, Rockville, United States,
Frank Aikman, III, NOAA/NOS, Rockville, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


The Ocean Dumping Ban Act of 1988 amends the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 to provide for cessation, by December 31, 1991, of all U.S. ocean dumping of industrial wastes and sewage sludge. AT present such dumping is restricted to disposal of sewage sludge at the 106-Mile Dumpsite in the Atlantic Ocean off New Jersey. The Act requires NOAA, in conjunction with EPA, to conduct research and monitoring on the this dumping and its effects. NOAA initiated its research and monitoring program under this Act in the spring and summer of 1990. This program has two major components, one dealing with physical transport of the sludge and the other with exposure and effects to biota. The physical component is using remote sensing, on-station hydrographic measurements, and satellite-tracked drifters to study physical influences that determine the movement of the sludge away from the site of dumping. This information will be utilized in a mathematical model of the sludge transport. The emphasis of the biological component is to search for areas of contaminant accumulation or effects that can be related to he material dumped at the 106-Mile Dumpsite. This is being done by measuring the concentrations of 7 heavy heavy metals and 53 organic contaminants in the tissues of midwater fish and the epibenthic megafauna, including commercial important species. These measurements are being made on animals from a series of sites, including ones at the dumpsite, in the zone of influence of the predominant flow from the site, and in areas outside of this zone. Prevalence and severity of chitinoclastic disease conditions in lobsters are also being monitored at a number of sites to assess the relation of proximity to the dumpsite and flows coming from it on this condition.

Subject Headings: Federal government | Ocean engineering | Sludge | Sewage | Waste sites | Hydrographs | Pollutants | Sensors and sensing | Atlantic Ocean | New Jersey | United States

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