National Status and Trends Mussel Watch Program : sampling methods 2012 update
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National Status and Trends Mussel Watch Program : sampling methods 2012 update

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  • Alternative Title:
    Sampling methods 2012 update
  • Description:
    "Since 1986, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), through its National Status and Trends (NS&T) Mussel Watch Program, has monitored our coastal waters for chemical contaminants and biological indicators of water quality. The Mussel Watch Program (MWP) is based on the collection and analysis of indigenous bivalve mollusks (oysters and mussels) and sediment. Mussels and oysters are sessile organisms that fi lter and accumulate particles from water; thus, measuring contaminant levels in their tissue is a good indicator of local chemical contamination. Currently, there are approximately 300 core MWP sites along the nation's coast, including the Great Lakes, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Detailed descriptions of MWP monitoring sites are available elsewhere (Lauenstein et al., 1997) and a revised version is in preparation. Initially, the MWP sites established in areas intended to represent general conditions of broad coastal areas, thus sites are not located near specifi c pollution outfalls such as water treatment plants or industry. In recent years however the MWP has expanded to meet a broader mission and has included sites in areas known to be directly impacted by outfalls and/or known pollution sources. These new sites provide our partners and stakeholders data that permit direct measurement of management action or remediation effectiveness. Currently, the MWP collects bivalve samples biennially (with half of the sites collected each year), while sediment collection occurs once every decade. Special events such as accidental oil spills and hurricanes may warrant a unique sampling mission with a rapid response and modifi ed procedure to meet an urgent need. Examples include NOAA's MWP response to: hurricanes (e.g. Rita & Katrina), oil spills (e.g. Deepwater Horizon), or other environmental events. In these instances the timing and nature of sampling may differ from regular MWP sampling discussed herein. In general, the biennial monitoring of bivalves for contaminants, occurrence of pathogens, diseases and reproductive stage, and sediment contaminant monitoring on a decadal frequency provide a meaningful measure of contaminant status and trends in our coastal environments. Parameters monitored by the MWP include about 150 chemical contaminants, ancillary measurements such as sediment grain size and tissue lipids, and more than 40 biological indicators. The MWP data provide the status and temporal trends of coastal contaminant conditions at the national and regional scale. A national assessment of program data was summarized in a recent report (Kimbrough et al. 2009) and is available online...This document describes in detail the procedures used by MWP for bivalve and sediment collection. It is intended for use by NOAA staff and its partners who do the planning and execution of fi eld collection activities or provide oversight of the staff and resources required. The NS&T Program is committed to providing the highest quality data to meet its statutory and scientifi c responsibilities. To assure good data quality, the MWP's sampling methodologies are based on quality assured practices described in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program's (EMAP), coastal assessment quality assurance project plan (EPA, 2001)"--Introduction.
  • Content Notes:
    Dennis A. Apeti, W. Edward Johnson, Kimani L. Kimbrough, and Gunnar. G. Lauenstein. Includes bibliographical references.
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    Public Domain
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