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Bioeffects Program Reports: South Atlantic Region

Project Status: This project began in April 1991 and is Ongoing

The Bioeffects program is a nationwide program of environmental assessment designed to describe the current status of environmental quality in our nation's estuarine and coastal areas. Field studies examine the distribution and concentration of over 150 chemical contaminants in sediments, measure sediment toxicity, and assess the condition of bottom-dwelling biological communities. This information is integrated into a comprehensive assessment of the health of the marine habitat.

Why We Care
Bioeffects projects are designed to assess the spatial distribution and magnitude of effect of chemical contamination, and develop indicators of environmental contaminant exposure in water bodies, ranging from small estuaries to large bays and coastal areas. Data are applicable to environmental risk assessments, damage assessments, and for planning future resource management and restoration activities. Using consistent methods over the life of the program allows for comparison of the magnitude and extent of contaminant effects relative to other locations throughout the U.S., and over time. All data are generated following strict performance-based quality control and quality assurance protocols. Data are available to regional, federal, state and local resource managers and the public via publications, presentations and a website data portal.

What We Did
Bioeffects studies are generally a one-time, intensive sampling effort. All sites within the study area are sampled for chemical analyses, and sea floor community assessment in as short a time as possible, so the data reflect a snapshot of the condition of the entire system at a point in time.  In brief, field procedures include sampling sediment and the overlying water column.  Two sediment samples are taken at each site using what is known as a “Young-modified Van Veen grab sampler.” Only the upper 2–3 cm of the sediment is retained in order to assure collection of recently deposited materials. The sediment samples are thoroughly homogenized in the field and are then subdivided for distribution to various testing laboratories. A third sample is taken for sea floor community analysis. A profile of water quality in the water column is measured to include standard variables such as temperature, depth, salinity, dissolved oxygen, etc. Detailed descriptions of the sampling techniques and procedures are available by contacting the project manager.

 

Bioeffects Reports for the South Atlantic Region (East coast of Florida to North Carolina):

Biscayne Bay

  • Magnitude and Extent of Chemical Contamination and Toxicity in Sediments of Biscayne Bay and Vicinity, 1999. (see Products below)
  • Extent and Toxicity of Contaminated Marine Sediments in Southeastern Florida, 1999 (see Products below)
  • BENTHIC SAMPLING PROGRAM IN BISCAYNE BAY 1981–1982
  • Biodiversity Study of Southern Biscayne Bay and Card Sound 1968–1973
  • Human Use Pharmaceuticals in the Estuarine Environment: A Survey of the Chesapeake Bay, Biscayne Bay and Gulf of the Farallones, 2006 (see Products below)
  • Status and Trends of Contaminant Levels in Biota and Sediments of South Florida, 1999 (see Products below)

St Lucie Estuary

  • DNA Damage Analysis of Fish Tissue SamplesCollected in the St. Lucie and Jupiter Inlets of South Florida June 2001 (see Products below)
  • Evaluation of Environmental Toxicity in the St. Lucie Estuary (see Products below)
  • Assessment of Reproductive Endocrine Disruption in Fish from the St. Lucie Estuary, Florida. (see Products below)
  • St. Lucie Oyster Biomarker Study (see Products below)
  • Response of the P450 Human Reporter Gene System (HRGS) Assay to Extracts of Sediments Collected From Saint Lucie Bay, Florida in 2001 (see Products below)
  • Toxicity Testing of Sediments from St. Lucie Estuary, Florida (see Products below)
  • Ampelisca abdita and Eohaustorius estuarius tests conducted with sediments from the St. Lucie Estuary, Florida (see Products below)
  • St. Lucie Estuary Benthic Community Assessment, 2001 (see Products below)
  • St. Lucie Estuary Benthic Community Assessment, 2003 (see Products below)

Saint Simons Sound

  • Magnitude and Extent of Sediment Toxicity in Selected Estuaries of South Carolina and Georgia (see Products below)

Savannah River

  • Magnitude and Extent of Sediment Toxicity in Selected Estuaries of South Carolina and Georgia (see Products below)

Leadenwah Creek

  • Magnitude and Extent of Sediment Toxicity in Selected Estuaries of South Carolina and Georgia (see Products below)

Charleston Harbor

  • Magnitude and Extent of Sediment Toxicity in Selected Estuaries of South Carolina and Georgia (see Products below)

Winyah Bay

  • Magnitude and Extent of Sediment Toxicity in Selected Estuaries of South Carolina and Georgia (see Products below)

North Carolina 

  • Integrative assessments of ecological resources and ecosystem stressors at NERRS (see Products below)
  • COMPENDIUM OF ENVIRONMENTAL DATA FOR ESTUARIES SAMPLED IN THE NORTH CAROLINA PORTION OF THE EMAP CAROLINIAN PROVINCE DURING SUMMER 1994-1996 (see Products below)
  • EMAP/NS&T Pilot Studies in the Carolinian Province: Indicator Testing and Evaluation in the Southeastern Estuaries, 1995. (see Products below)
  • ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY OF THE NEUSE RIVER, NORTH CAROLINA DURING SUMMER 1998: DATA SUMMARY (see Products below)

Regions of Study: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina

Primary Contact: Ian Hartwell

Research Theme: Coastal Pollution 

Related NCCOS Center: CCMA


Project Products

 Presentations and/or Posters

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