The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) convened a panel for a one-day meeting on September 17 to provide perspectives on the utility of Mussel Watch data and potential future program directions. Twelve representatives from National Ocean Service program offices, other federal agencies, regional monitoring programs, and academia were briefed on the current NCCOS pollution portfolio, and discussed strategies to improve leveraging and program relevance. The general perspective was that Mussel Watch is a valued program that would benefit from balancing additional emphasis on contaminants of emerging concern with the long-term historical data set. The potential for greater regional work was also extensively discussed.
Mussel Watch represents the longest running continuous contaminant monitoring program in U.S. coastal and Great Lakes waters. The project was developed to analyze chemical and biological contaminant trends in sediments and bivalve tissues collected at over 300 coastal sites from 1986 to the present.