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ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF A GOLF COMPLEX ON COASTAL WETLANDS IN THE GULF OF MEXICO
Lewis, M A., D D. Dantin, AND R L. Quarles. ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF A GOLF COMPLEX ON COASTAL WETLANDS IN THE GULF OF MEXICO. Presented at 24th Annual Meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists, New Orleans, LA, June 8-13, 2003.
The increasing density of golf courses represents a potential source of contamination to nearby coastal wetlands and other near-shore areas. The chemical and biological magnitude of the problem is almost unknown. To provide perspective on this issue, the effects of golf complex runoff containing reclaimed wastewater were evaluated during a two year period on adjacent environmental areas, including coastal wetlands. Sediment and water quality, sediment toxicity, community composition of benthos and periphyton, and contaminant bioaccumulation were determined and compared to corresponding parameters in reference coastal areas. Chromium, zinc, mercury, DDT and associated metabolites, dieldrin and chlordane concentrations were relatively high in sediments associated with the wetlands. Atrazine concentrations in surface water collected from the wetlands average 0.12 (range = 0.06 to 0.24) ug/l and were the greatest in the study when compared to concentrations in the coastal receiving water and near-shore areas. Concentrations of lead and mercury in the same surface water exceeded state criteria for marine life. Acute toxicity occurred more frequently for wetland sediments than those collected from other coastal areas adjacent to the golf course. Grass shrimp were the most sensitive species and mortality ranged from 8 to 83%. Arsenic, copper and mercury residues were greater in colonized periphyton and blue crabs collected from the wetland areas than from those collected from reference areas. Two conclusions resulted from the study. First, it was apparent that the wetlands were a contaminant sink that prevented the entry of many golf course contaminants from entering the coastal receiving water and second, the magnitude of the golf complex environmental impact was less than that previously reported for coastal areas impacted by urban stormwater runoff and treated wastewater discharges.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION
ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT BRANCH