Fisheries & Ecological Services
Alaska Region


Environmental Contaminants

Program Overview

The Environmental Contaminants Program provides technical assistance to various Service programs, other agencies and the public.
For example:

  • We investigate environmental contaminant issues in species and habitats managed by the Service. In Alaska, these investigations include the study of contaminants in declining species, assessing the presence and effects of bioaccumulative compounds in predatory Contaminants Specialist sampling  sediments - CLICK TO ENLARGEspecies, and evaluating contaminants in Service-managed species commonly used for subsistence.
  • We provide technical support to the Endangered Species Program on contaminant issues that may affect listed species and their habitats, including the evaluation of proposed projects and the study of contaminant concentrations in these species.
  • Environmental Contaminants Specialists provide technical comments on various federally-funded or federally- approved projects that could potentially affect trust resources by introducing contaminants into the environment or by posing a risk of contaminant spills.
  • As part of the Contaminant Assessment Process, we evaluate and summarize contaminant issues on each National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. These refuge-scale assessments often lead to more detailed contaminant investigations and cleanup projects.
  • We work with the Environmental Compliance Program (Division of Engineering) and the National Wildlife Refuge System to plan environmental cleanups on refuge lands. We also provide technical support regarding contaminant remediation projects conducted by other responsible parties on Service-managed lands.
  • We work with refuges and other partners to implement an integrated pest management program on Service lands, and we evaluate proposed pesticide use on refuge land and in Service-funded projects.
  • As part of our oil spill response program, we work proactively with partners to identify trust resources vulnerable to spills and to review spill response planning documents such as Area Plans and facility contingency plans. During major spill events the Service serves as an integral member of the Incident Command System, helping ensure that wildlife issues are addressed appropriately.
  • Following significant spill events and chemical releases, we work with others to restore injured natural resources.
Soil sampling. USFWS. Click to Enlarge


Last updated: March 23, 2010