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Research Technical Report

Measuring Contaminants in the Waters, Sediments and Organisms of Monterey Bay

Hardin, D.D., B. Pierson, A. Babatola, J. Popper, R. Vondohren, and K. Worcester (March 2004)

Poster presentation at the Sanctuary Currents Symposium, Seaside, CA


CCLEAN (Central Coast Long-term Environmental Assessment Network) is a long-term regional monitoring program that has been designed with extensive stakeholder input to determine the status and trends of water and sediment quality in nearshore regions of Monterey Bay. The program is focusing on measuring sources, loads and consequences of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), nutrients and pathogen indicators into Monterey Bay. In 2004, measurement of POPs in sea otter tissues will be added to the program. Initial wastewater and river samples have shown that the total annual load of nitrogen from nitrate and urea in wastewater effluent was 63,675 kg and in the four major rivers was 590,700 kg. Mussel samples from all five sites distributed around the Bay have each exceeded at least one State Water Resources Control Board Mazimum Tissue Residue Level for POPs and some samples exceeded concentrations of DDTs and chlordanes measured in San Francisco Bay. Sediment samples from eight sites along the 80-meter contour all have exceeded the NOAA Effects Range Low values for total DDTs and p,p'-DDE (i.e., similar concentrations have ben associated with toxicity in >10% of sediment toxicity tests), and stepwise regressions have shown that POPs may be affecting benthic invertebrates.

Reviewed: April 11, 2024
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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