Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Early Warning Program Sounds Off at International Great Lakes Research Conference
Midwest Region, June 5, 2013
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In coordination with Ed Smith and Jason Berninger of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, biologist Jo Ann Banda from the Ecological Services office in Ohio served as co-chair of a session during the International Association of Great Lakes Researchers Conference. The session, “Bio-effects Surveillance toward an Early Warning System for Toxics in the Great Lakes,” focused on the robust set of tools being developed to assess effects of contaminants across multiple endpoints and levels of biological organization. Many of the presentations in the session were related to the collaboration among U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. EPA, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps and other researchers to evaluate the impacts of contaminants of emerging concern  in the Great Lakes basin.

Contaminants of emerging concern, including hormones, pharmaceuticals, plasticizers, and pesticides and chemicals used in personal care products, are often unregulated, or minimally regulated, by state or federal water quality programs. Prompted by growing concern over the presence of these types of contaminants in the environment and laboratory studies showing detrimental effects to wildlife exposed to these contaminants, the Service’s Region 3 and 5 Environmental Contaminants Programs initiated an early warning program to detect and identify contaminants of emerging concernin the Great Lakes Basin and determine their effects on fish and other wildlife. Wild fish, water and sediment were collected from sites throughout the Great Lakes in Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin from 2010-2013 at suspected point sources. At some locations caged fish were collocated. Banda presented the chemical characterization of the 2010 and 2011 water and sediment samples that included temporal differences between fall and spring samples and among different times of day, differences between the media, and spatial patterns within and among sites.

Contact Info: Jo Banda, 614-416-8993 ext 19, joann_banda@fws.gov
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