||Galveston Bay National Estuary Program,, Austin, TX. ;National Fisheries Contaminant Research Center, Corpus Christi, TX. Field Research Station.;Environmental Protection Agency, Dallas, TX. Region VI.
The purpose of the study was to characterize the quality of sediments at key sites in the Galveston Bay Estuary. Sediment samples were taken simultaneously for chemical and physical analyses, toxicity testing, and an assessment of benthic community structure, in order to identify areas where sediment contamination is responsible for ecosystem degradation. The chemical analyses included a suite of trace metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and chlorinated hydrocarbons. Total organic carbon (TOC) and acid volatile sulfides (AVS) were also measured in order to normalize the organic and inorganic constituents, respectively. Solid-phase sediment toxicity tests with the benthic amphipod Grandidierella japonica were conducted. In addition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) conducted a series of sediment porewater tests with gametes of the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata.