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MONITORING CHANGES IN THE ESTUARIES OF THE UNITED STATES: THE ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM
Summers, J K., A. Robertson, AND J. Johnston. MONITORING CHANGES IN THE ESTUARIES OF THE UNITED STATES: THE ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM. Presented at Conference on Long-Term Changes in Marine Ecosystems, Centre d'Oceanographie et Biologie Marine, Arachon, FRANCE, February 01 - 03, 1995.
The purpose of the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program/Estuaries (EMAP-E) is to estimate the current status, extent, changes, and trends in ecological indicators of the condition of the nation's coastal resources (intertidal, subtidal, and offshore) on a regional and national basis. Monitoring activities are present in approximately 70% of the nation's estuarine waters and focus on suites of measurements describing the benthic community, the fish community, water quality, levels of sediment and tissue contamination, sediment toxicity, and SAV extent/condition. Estuarine monitoring is based on an EMAP-E probability-based sampling design implemented over a 60-day window during July-September of each year. The use of statistical tools developed for the program show that 25% plus or minus 4% of the sediments of the nation had degraded biological conditions while 29% plus or minus 4% of the area showed degraded conditions in relation to human uses of the resource (e.g., water clarity, tissue contaminants, and the presence of marine debris). Biological degradation is characterized by significantly less than expected number of benthic species and diversity, high numbers of pollution-tolerant species, and low numbers of pollution-sensitive species, incidence of fish pathologies, and increased levels of selected biomarkers in target fish species. Human use degradation is characterized as decreased water and sediment quality, potential for decreased consumptive use, and incidence of characteristics limiting non-consumptive use. Beginning in 1995, the remaining areas of the country (Northeast, South Florida, and Northwest) will be monitored.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB
GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION
COASTAL ECOLOGY BRANCH