Sediment Contamination Survey on St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.
Jon M. Hemming Michael Brim Robert Jarvis
A survey was conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assess habitat quality on the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Sediment samples were collected at 32 sites within (n = 14) or north (n = 18) of the NWR. The survey showed only site and use-specific contamination. Much of the surveyed area possessed little or no contaminant residues. Sediment composition around St. Marks NWR was comparable to coastal areas of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Metal contamination of sediments was not found on-refuge but was found at 6 off-refuge sites and included moderate concentrations of copper and mercury. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination was also not found on-refuge, however, off-refuge PAH contamination was slightly more widespread than metal contamination being found at 9 off-refuge sites. No organochlorine contamination was detected in samples taken on or off-refuge. Sixteen sites, including both on and off-refuge sites, were found to have relatively high concentrations of aliphatic hydrocarbons. Oil and grease contamination was found at 11 sites total, but at only 1 site on the NWR. The survey objective was to provide baseline information from which to determine the need for additional monitoring and for use in developing management strategies.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/Documents/StMarksSedimentReport.pdf, 4 MB
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Panama City Ecological Services and Fishery Resource Office