Chemical contaminants in surficial sediment in Coral and Fish Bays, St. John, US Virgin Islands
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Chemical contaminants in surficial sediment in Coral and Fish Bays, St. John, US Virgin Islands

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  • Journal Title:
    Marine Environmental Research
  • NOAA Program & Office:
  • Description:
    Land based sources of pollution have the potential to negatively impact coral reef ecosystems. Many coral systems, including environmentally sensitive marine protected areas, do not have assessments of their chemical contaminant status (magnitude and extent). Without a status assessment, it is impossible to measure change in a system. This study presents surficial sediment data from Coral and Fish Bays (St. John, US Virgin Islands (USVI)). Portions of these bays are included in Virgin Islands National Park, and Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument. A suite of analytes (PCBs, PAHs, pesticides, heavy metals, butyltins) was quantified and compared against other regional data and against previously published sediment quality guidelines (SQG). Contamination from toxic contaminants in the system was generally low when compared to other similar studies and potential toxicity thresholds (SQG). Exceptions to this were copper and total chlordane which exceeded the Effects Range Low (ERL) sediment quality guideline, indicating possible sediment toxicity. This assessment will be useful to coastal managers for tracking environmental change, and ensuring that this marine protected area remains relatively free from toxic contamination. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Source:
    Marine Environmental Research, 112, 1-8.
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  • Rights Information:
    Accepted Manuscript
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