New England Field Office
Conserving the Nature of New England



Environmental Contaminants


      The mission of the New England Field Office Environmental Contaminants (EC) program is to protect, enhance and restore the quality of fish, wildlife and their habitats. EC biologists accomplish this through a variety of activities:

  • Identifying and investigating pollution effects,
  • Developing solutions to correct or prevent adverse impacts from contaminants,
  • Responding to oil and hazardous material spills or releases,
  • Providing technical expertise to federal, state, industrial, institutional and non-governmental agencies,
  • Restoring fish, wildlife, and their habitats that were adversely impacted by  contaminants.

Core Environmental Contaminant Program Areas Include:

Special Studies:

       EC biologists design, conduct or partner with other organizations through Special Studies to investigate, identify and quantify contaminant impacts to fish and wildlife resources on and off Service lands. The investigations result in specific management actions, which prevent, reduce, or help to eliminate these impacts.

Image of malformed frog

Technical Assistance:

      Technical contaminants expertise is provided to all major Service programs including the National Wildlife Refuge System, Endangered Species, Migratory Birds, Fisheries, Federal Projects, Partners, and Law Enforcement. EC biologists also provide contaminant-related fish and wildlife technical support to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Biological Technical Assistance Team (BTAG) for National Priority List (Superfund) sites throughout New England.

image of dead oil soaked common loon

Spill Response:

       EC biologists respond to Oil Spills thoughout New England and assist other Service regions in spills of regional or national significance. Primary responsibilities during spills include advising the Federal On-Scene Coordinator about potential impacts of oil and response actions to threatened and endangered species, migratory birds, anadromous fish, some marine mammals and Service lands. Additionally, EC biologists oversee the collection and rehabilitation of oiled wildlife.

image superfund site


       Restoring habitats and natural resources destroyed or degraded by oil spills or hazardous waste is a major EC role. In partnership with other affected state and federal natural resource trustees, EC biologists plan and implement Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration activities.

image of restored trustee property

US Fish & Wildlife Service National and Regional Contaminants Program Links

Image link to USFWS National EC program    image link to USFWS_RO5 ES program  



Last updated: September 16, 2009