SIMoN
  Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network
Monitoring Project

Literature Review To Characterize Environmental Contaminants That May Affect The Southern Sea Otter

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Dane Hardin
    Applied Marine Sciences
  • Dave Jessup
    California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Melissa Miller
    California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • David Paradies
    The Bay Foundation of Morro Bay

Funding

  • SIMoN
Start Date: March 19, 2004
End Date: June 11, 2007

Applied Marine Sciences, Inc. and several co-investigators familiar with published and
unpublished data on environmental contaminants that may affect otters within the Sanctuary have been funded by the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Netwrok (SIMoN) to conduct a literature review. The objectives of this study are to characterize environmental contaminants present in sea otter habitats that may affect population recovery, synthesize existing data on contaminant concentrations, and map their distribution.

Applied Marine Sciences is collaborating with investigators from the Central Coast Long-term Environmental Assessment Network (CCLEAN), California Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center (CDF&G), and the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board). Many of the relevant data are already in their databases.

We will focus our literature search on sources of anthropogenic contaminants. Several classes of chemical contaminants may affect otters. These include trace metals and organic compounds, such as polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlorinated pesticides (e.g., chlordane and DDT), tributyl tins (TBTs), and organophosphorous pesticides (e.g., diazinon). We will concentrate our search on organic compounds and those metals with the greatest potential for toxicity (i.e., lead and mercury).

Summary to Date

We plan to search numerous sources of relevant data, including:

· Publications in the scientific literature

· Regional Board’s Central Coast Ambient Monitoring Program
(CCAMP) database

· Monitoring reports for wastewater discharges in the Sanctuary from the
Regional Board

· CDF&G has published and unpublished data on contaminant concentrations in sea otter
prey

· CCLEAN is currently monitoring rivers, wastewater discharges, and mussels in the
Monterey Bay area for persistent organic pollutants and pathogen indicators

· The most recent historic data (1986–1998) from the National Status and Trends (NS&T)
program.


We used two methods to search for literature and data to populate the database. First, we used the internet and personal contacts to compile a list of sampling programs and principal investigators in the region. These efforts often lead to other data sources. The second search method involved general and specific electronic searches for pertinent published literature.

Discussion

Using the first method of searching for literature and data, several institutional monitoring programs were identified and the most recent data were obtained, including:
• Bay Protection and Toxic Cleanup Program of the California State Water Resources Control Board sediment chemistry data for 1992–1997
• Central Coast Long-term Environmental Assessment Network sediment and bivalve chemistry data from 2001–2002
• Coastal Fish Contamination Program of the California State Water Resources Control Board bivalve and fish tissue chemistry data for 1999–2000
• Moss Landing Harbor District sediment chemistry data related to dredging activities from 1993–2002
• National Status and Trends Mussel Watch Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sediment chemistry data from 1986–1991 and bivalve chemistry data from 1986–1998
• Santa Cruz Harbor District sediment chemistry data related to dredging activities from 1995–2003
• State Mussel Watch Program of the California State Water Resources Control Board bivalve tissue chemistry data for 1977–2000
• Toxic Substances Monitoring Program of the California State Water Resources Control Board sediment and fish tissue chemistry data for 1978–2000


The second method of searching for literature and data utilized several broad search strategies to explore Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, an electronic database. We also searched the Aquatic Science and Fisheries Abstracts database from 1977 to the present and the Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management database from 1968 to the present. These searches resulted in 2,217 records, which were all imported into an EndNote (version 6.0.2, ISI ResearchSoft) bibliography. Duplicates were eliminated and the resulting bibliography of 1,039 citations was visually searched to remove citations that had no relevance to chemical contaminants in water, sediment or animal tissues in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The Sanctuary-specific bibliography includes 71 relevant citations.

Study Parameters

  • Abundance
  • Age & Growth
  • Reproduction
  • Habitat association
  • Mortality
  • Behavior
  • Predation
  • Distribution
  • Migration/movement patterns
  • Sex ratio
  • Metals
  • Ortho-phosphate
  • DDT
  • Other pollutants
  • Macro-invertebrates

Study Methods

Applied Marine Sciences, Inc. (AMS) submits this proposal to the Monterey Bay National
Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) with investigators from the Central Coast Long-term
Environmental Assessment Network (CCLEAN), California Department of Fish and Game
Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center (CDF&G), and the Central Coast Regional Water
Quality Control Board (Regional Board). These investigators are familiar with published and
unpublished data on environmental contaminants that may affect otters within the Sanctuary.
Many of the relevant data are already in their databases.
The objectives of this study are to characterize environmental contaminants present in sea otter
habitats that may affect population recovery, synthesize existing data on contaminant
concentrations, and map their distribution.
We will focus our literature search on sources of anthropogenic contaminants. Several classes of
chemical contaminants may affect otters. These include trace metals and organic compounds,
such as polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs),
chlorinated pesticides (e.g., chlordane and DDT), tributyl tins (TBTs), and organophosphorous
pesticides (e.g., diazinon). We will concentrate our search on organic compounds and those
metals with the greatest potential for toxicity (i.e., lead and mercury).
There are numerous sources of relevant data that will be searched, as follows:
· Publications in the scientific literature will be searched using AMS’ subscription to
Cambridge Scientific Abstracts.
· The database of the Regional Board’s Central Coast Ambient Monitoring Program
(CCAMP) will be searched. This database includes unpublished contaminant data from
nearshore areas for water, sediments, and prey species in habitats utilized by sea otters.
· Monitoring reports for wastewater discharges in the Sanctuary will be searched at the
Regional Board for pertinent data.
· CDF&G has published and unpublished data on contaminant concentrations in sea otter
prey, which will be incorporated into the products for this program.
· CCLEAN is currently monitoring rivers, wastewater discharges, and mussels in the
Monterey Bay area for persistent organic pollutants and pathogen indicators, and one or
two years of these data also will be available for this program.
· The most recent CDF&G State Mussel Watch historic data (1977–2000) will be
incorporated into this program.
· The most recent historic data (1986–1998) from the National Status and Trends (NS&T)
program will be incorporated into this program.
Data will be screened for geographic relevance (i.e., between San Francisco and Point
Conception) and entered into Excel spreadsheets.
This project will integrate several research activities and monitoring efforts in the MBNMS. For
example, from January 30 to February 1, 2002, a workshop was convened in Santa Cruz by The
Otter Project to consider the effects of contaminants and impaired animal health on the southern
sea otter population (Reeves, 2002). Twenty investigators participated in this workshop, which
resulted in a proposed research plan for investigating these issues. Task 3 of the proposed research plan involves compilation of existing data to characterize environmental contaminants
in the southern sea otter’s range, which will by satisfied by this project. In satisfying Task 3, this
project will provide timely and pertinent information to managers and decision makers regarding
the possible causes of sea otter declines, which is an objective of SIMoN.
This project also will help integrate existing monitoring conducted in MBNMS, which is another
objective of SIMoN. For example, the CCLEAN program provides the initial nearshore
component of the Regional Board’s effort to fulfill the marine portion of the Sanctuary’s Water
Quality Protection Program, as mandated by a Memorandum of Agreement between eight
federal, state, and regional agencies(Applied Marine Sciences, 2000). CCLEAN is currently
monitoring rivers and wastewater effluent for concentrations of many of the chemical
contaminants that will be the focus of this program and these data will be provided to this
program. In cooperation with CDF&G, CCLEAN has been awarded a grant from the California
State Water Resources Control Board for funding under Proposition 13 to measure
concentrations of persistent organic pollutants in sea otter tissues. Data on contaminant
concentrations in sea otter prey species will be of great interpretive value during the analysis and
reporting for the Proposition 13 program. The historical perspective on environmental
concentrations of chemical contaminants provided by this project also will be very valuable for
determining whether those trends might be related to trends in the sea otter population.
This project will provide a database that includes the following columns, at a minimum:
· data source (i.e., monitoring program or publication author)
· site name
· site code
· latitude
· longitude
· matrix (i.e., water, sediment, prey species)
· date
· one column for the concentration of each chemical contaminant
· data qualifiers (e.g., interference, co-elution, below quantitation or detection limits)
The data then will be screened for discrepancies in nomenclature so that all the data for one
chemical will appear in a single column. According to discussions with MBNMS, the data will
be submitted in an Excel spreadsheet for importing into the MBNMS’ GIS system to facilitate
detailed mapping.
The following products will be provided:
· The integrated data set will be submitted, as described above. This submittal will
facilitate manipulation and detailed mapping within the Sanctuary’s GIS system.
· A report will be submitted. This report will include description of methods (e.g., the data
sets incorporated into the integrated data set) and an analysis of spatial patterns and
temporal trends in the concentrations of major classes of chemical contaminants. This
report will include maps to illustrate the general patterns observed in the data. We
anticipate developing this report into a publication appropriate for possible journals such
as Journal of Coastal Research, Coastal Management Journal, Marine Pollution Bulletin,
or Marine Environmental Research.

Documents

  • Hardin et al. (2007)
    Literature review to characterize environmental contaminants that may affect the southern sea otter.
    1.5 MB PDF