A Heavy Metal Survey of Coastal Bay Sediments at Selected Sites Near Ocean City, Maryland

EPA Grant Number: U916001
Title: A Heavy Metal Survey of Coastal Bay Sediments at Selected Sites Near Ocean City, Maryland
Investigators: Balogun, Bashiru A.
Institution: University of Maryland - Eastern Shore
EPA Project Officer: Graham, Karen
Project Period: January 1, 2001 through January 1, 2004
Project Amount: $95,118
RFA: Minority Academic Institutions (MAI) Fellowships for Graduate Environmental Study (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Academic Fellowships , Fellowship - Environmental Science


The objective of this research project is to survey metal concentrations from Maryland coastal bay sites classified as pristine, industrial, agricultural, or residential. These classifications are based on a geographic information system (GIS) land-use map. Urbanization of the Maryland coastal bays has led to several environmental problems such as water quality degradation, polluted runoff from both agricultural and urban lands, and excessive loadings of sediments primarily from nonpoint sources. An assessment of selected inshore sites in the Maryland coastal bays would be useful for urbanization and growth plans.


As part of this research project, representative sediment samples were collected from more than 20 sites in the Assawoman Bay area near Ocean City during the summer of 2002. Samples from six of these GIS-marked sites were analyzed for total heavy metal concentrations using inductively coupled plasma atomic emissions (ICP) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy methods. For each of the heavy metals of interest (Cu, Cr, Pb, Sr, and Zn), sites 1-2 and 2-3 showed relatively higher mean concentrations compared to the other GIS locations. The mean chromium concentration at site 1-2 based on XRF and ICP methods was significantly (P < 0.01) higher (65.6 ± 6.56 µg/g and 39.9 ± 3.07 µg/g, respectively) than that at site 2-3. In contrast, the mean chromium concentration at site 2-3 based on XRF analysis was 46.4 ± 5.10 µg/g and 29.8 ± 2.68 µg/g based on ICP analysis.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, heavy metals, water quality degradation, sediments, polluted runoff, Maryland coastal bays, inductively coupled plasma atomic emissions, ICP, x-ray fluorescence, XRF, coastal bay sediment, Ocean City, Maryland, MD, copper, Cu, chromium, Cr, lead, Pb, strontium, Sr, zinc, Zn., Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Waste, Water, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Environmental Chemistry, Contaminated Sediments, State, Chemicals, Ecology and Ecosystems, contaminated marine sediment, agriculture runoff, sediment transport, Maryland (MD), sediment quality survey, aquatic ecosystems, aquatic sediment, heavy metal contamination

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2001
  • 2002
  • Final