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Cape Lookout National Seashore Environmental Quality Report Released

Published on: 04/07/2022
Primary Contact(s): pete.key@noaa.gov

NCCOS scientist collects samples at Cape Lookout National Seashore adjacent to the abandoned town of Portsmouth, NC.

NCCOS scientists have released a final report assessing the environmental quality of sediment and water at Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina.

Results from the sediment analysis found at least one class of contaminants at all 20 of the sites surveyed. However, contaminant levels measured did not exceed sediment guidelines where an effect would be expected. Results from the analysis of water collected found that the nutrient levels measured were below levels of concern according to North Carolina and EPA standards.

Over the course of two months, scientists from NCCOS partnered with the National Park Service to sample within the park boundaries. Sediment, water, and oysters were collected and analyzed for a suite of legacy contaminants, chemicals of emerging concern (CEC), metals, sediment toxicity, nutrients, and chlorophyll a.

Environmental monitoring of this region will help to determine effects of floodwaters from natural weather events, mainland runoff from upstream agricultural and industrial areas, and effects of recreational and commercial boating within park boundaries. These results will provide necessary data for future management and comparison sampling.

For more information, please access the project webpage.

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