Metal contaminant assessment for the Southeast Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts: results of the National Benthic Surveillance Project over the first four years 1984-87




Hanson, Peter James, and David W. Evans

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Beaufort Laboratory


Sediment and fish tissue samples have been collected annually for contaminant analysis as part of NOAA's National Status and Trends Program, National Benthic Surveillance Project since 1984. The overall goals of the project are: 1) to develop a nationally uniform, long-term data base for contaminants in the U.S. coastal areas, 2) to establish the current status and future trends in contaminant levels in sediments and fish, 3) to establish and monitor indicators of harmful effects to fish from contaminants, and 4) to provide an information base for management action to control inputs, concentrations and harmful effects of contaminants. In this report, data are presented for the concentrations of 16 elements (Ag, Al, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, Si, Sn, Tl, and Zn) in fish livers and surficial sediments collected annually during 1984-87 along the southeastern Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts at 17 locations. Locations represent major estuarine - coastal systems within the Southeast region (e.g., Galveston Bay, Pamlico Sound and Tampa Bay). Data from annual surveys (one site sampled per location) and intensive surveys (five and six sites sampled per location) are used to present spatial distributions and temporal trends among and within locations, respectively.


120 pgs.


metals, chemical pollution, sediment analysis, environmental surveys, environmental aspects, marine pollution