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, and the peregrine falcon were 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 Tennessee. 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 Tennessee Field Office also provide guidance to the seven National Wildlife Refuges in Tennessee 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.
Information or questions concerning the Environmental Contaminants Program in Tennessee can be obtained from Mr. Steve Alexander.