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NCCOS Assists Southwest Alaskan Coastal Resource Management

Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science traveled to King Salmon, Naknek, and Dillingham, Alaska  from July 17-31, collecting sediments for  toxicity testing, fish  tissues to identify irregularities, and samples of benthic communities, to get a baseline characterization of contaminant conditions. Samples came from the near-shore  and coastal waters of Nushagak and Kvichak Bays, both sub-estuaries of  Bristol Bay.

Southwest Alaska hosts the largest salmon fishery in the world, as well as a number of other important fisheries. As a result, resource managers in the area need a clear assessment of the health of the harbors and open waters in this region. Using NOAA’s National Status and Trends Bioeffects Program protocols, and working in close cooperation with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuges, the sediment and tissue samples will be analyzed for over 150 chemical contaminants, toxicity, and sea floor community health.

This effort was a continuation of work that began in 2013.  Results from the analysis will be incorporated into an integrated assessment that will help facilitate management of resources.

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