South Carolina Environmental Contaminants Program
The Mission of the Fish and Wildlife Service's Environmental Contaminants Program is focused on identifying harmful contaminant effects on fish and wildlife and restoring resources degraded by contamination. Our Nation's majestic symbol, the bald eagle, was at the brink of extinction nearly two decades ago due to the use of what was believed to be a safe product, the pesticide DDT.
This compound, and others such as chlordane and PCB's, were routinely used and disposed of on the land or discharged to streams and lakes. Although some of these compounds are now banned or not routinely used, many still persist in the environment and have resulted in the current posting of fish consumption advisories in certain stream reaches and impoundments in South Carolina. In and effort to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future, the Service provides biological analyses of the ecological effects of pesticide use during each compounds registration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Environmental Contaminant specialists in the Charleston Field Office also provide guidance to the eight National Wildlife Refuges in South Carolina on pesticide use and survey these important lands to determine the presence of contaminants. Surveys are also performed in a variety of other habitats, including those of endangered and threatened species, which could be impacted by activities such as waste disposal, wastewater discharges, and habitat modification.
We are actively involved with developing response plans for potential oil spills or hazardous substance releases and assist with cleanup, wildlife rehabilitation, and habitat restoration activities at numerous hazardous waste sites throughout the area.