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External Review of NCCOS Chemical Contaminants Program Ensures Science Remains Relevant, Focused

Published on: 04/27/2021
Primary Contact(s): michelle.harmon@noaa.gov

Last fall, a six-member panel of experts reviewed NCCOS’s Fate and Effects of Chemical Contaminants (F&ECC) Program, and concluded that the program provides national leadership; conducts high-quality research, and works closely with partners at the federal, state, and local levels to fill a unique niche in the coastal ecosystem management community. The panel’s findings, recommendations, and NCCOS’s response are now available online.

NCCOS mesocosm facility in Charleston, South Carolina

NCCOS researchers are testing marsh plant responses to oil treatments, along with various salt marsh restoration techniques, at the NCCOS mesocosm facility in Charleston, South Carolina (shown above). Data from the study will be used to inform decisions on marsh restoration practices following oil spills. Credit: NOAA.

Science program reviews are required by NOAA and are essential for ensuring that NOAA’s research is of the highest quality, remains valuable to the scientific community, and can also be used to manage the nation’s natural resources.

The F&ECC Program conducts laboratory studies as well as field investigations along the nation’s coasts, including the Great Lakes, to determine the presence and effects of chemical contaminants. Research results support many federal legis lative mandates that protect and conserve coastal ecosystems, including the Endangered Species Act, the Oil Pollution Act, the Coral Reef Conservation Act, and the Coastal Zone Management Act.

The panel reviewed reports on the three F&ECC Program focus areas (ecotoxicology, monitoring and assessment, and key species and bioinformatics) and received presentations from NCCOS staff and key partners during a three-day meeting.

Fate and Effects of Chemical Contaminants Program Review Panel

Panel Chair:

Dr. Alberto Pantoja
Acting Director, Midwest Area, Agricultural Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Panel Members:

Dr. Michel Boufadel, PE, BCEE
Director, Center for Natural Resources
New Jersey Institute of Technology

Dr. Natalia Garcia-Reyero Vinas
Research Biologist, Engineer Research and Development Center, Environmental Laboratory
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Ms. Jan Matuszko
Acting Director, Environmental Fate and Effects Division, Office of Pesticides
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Dr. Laura McConnell
Principal Scientist, Regulatory Scientific Affairs Group
Bayer CropScience

Mr. Robert Schuster
Bureau Chief, Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

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