The NS&T Intensive Bioeffects Surveys: Design Strategies and Preliminary Results

by D. A. Wolfe, Natl Oceanic and Atmospheric, Administration, Rockville, United States,
E. R. Long, Natl Oceanic and Atmospheric, Administration, Rockville, United States,
A. Robertson, Natl Oceanic and Atmospheric, Administration, Rockville, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93


Intensive bioeffects surveys are conducted in selected areas where chemical data from the National Status and Trends (NS&T) Program indicate greatest potential for contaminant-related biological effects. The surveys examine biomarkers of contaminant effects in resident fish and mollusks to determine the occurrence and magnitude of bioeffects in the natural system. Sediment toxicity surveys provide finer resolution on the spatial distribution of potential contaminants effects than is possible from the responses in mobile feral organisms. Surveys have been conducted in San Francisco Bay, Hudson-Raritan Estuary, Tampa Bay Boston Harbor, and Long Island Sound. Within these regions, fish from areas with the greatest contaminant loadings frequently exhibit higher incidences of contaminant-related histopathologies, along with elevated incidences of DNA adducts. Sediment toxicity is usually estimated using three or more exposure modes and test endpoints to support intercomparison of test sensitivities and correlations with contaminant concentrations. Sediment toxicity, occurs in portions of all study areas to date, being generally higher in sediments collected near urban or industrial centers and diminishing away from those centers. This paper outlines the rationale and design for the surveys, and presents representative results for Tampa Bay.

Subject Headings: Pollutants | Sediment | Toxicity | Fish and fishery management | Bays | Spatial distribution | Organisms | United States | Florida | Tampa | Boston | Massachusetts

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