Scientists Support Restoration through Characterization of Vieques Contaminants
Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) traveled to Vieques, Puerto Rico May 13-30 to collect sediments, coral tissues and water samples to characterize contaminants in near-shore waters around the island. Using NOAA’s National Status and Trends (NS&T) Program protocols, and working in close cooperation with NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, the sediments and coral samples will be analyzed for over 150 chemical contaminants; sediments will also be analyzed for the presence of 15 compounds termed “energetics,” used in munitions. The water samples will be analyzed for nutrients. Between 1940 and 2003, portions of the island of Vieques were used for the storage and firing of munitions for military training purposes. Results from the analysis will be incorporated into an integrated assessment that will help target restoration efforts and facilitate management of the valuable marine resources around Vieques.