EPA Science Inventory

Sediment Quality in Near Coastal Waters of the Gulf of Mexico: Influence of Hurricane Katrina

Citation:

MACAULEY, J. M., L. M. SMITH, L. HARWELL, AND W. H. BENSON. Sediment Quality in Near Coastal Waters of the Gulf of Mexico: Influence of Hurricane Katrina. ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Pensacola, FL, 29(7):1403-1408, (2010).

Description:

The results from this study represent a synoptic analysis of sediment quality in coastal waters of Lake Pontchartrain and Mississippi Sound two months after the landfall of Hurricane Katrina. Post-hurricane conditions were compared to pre-hurricane (2000-2004) conditions, for sediment quality data. There were no exceedances of Effects Range Median (ERM) sediment quality guideline values for chemical contaminants in any of the sediment samples collected from the Lake Pontchartrain or the Mississippi Sound study areas following the hurricane. Lower-threshold Effects Range Low (ERL) values were exceeded for arsenic, cadmium, and nickel at several stations in both survey areas, similar to levels of contamination observed prior to the hurricane. The comparison of sediment quality indicators before and after the hurricane suggests considerable stability of these systems with respect to short-term ecological impacts. While other studies have shown storm-related changes could be detected (e.g., effects on benthic communities associated with shifts in salinity), there were no indications of widespread sediment contamination.

Purpose/Objective:

Summarize the quality of estuarine sediment in the coastal waters of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama following landfall of Hurricane Katrina.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 07/01/2010
Completion Date: 07/01/2010
Record Last Revised: 03/06/2014
Record Created: 04/15/2009
Record Released: 04/15/2009
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 206489

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION

ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT BRANCH