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The Story of

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1960 Bald eagles disappear from the Channel Islands ... the bald eagle diet, but are the source of much of the bald eagles' DDE exposure. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Story of


1
Lesson 5
  • The Story of
  • Santa Catalina Island

2
Opening Question
  • What are some possible explanations for high DDE
    concentrations in sediments around Santa
    Catalina Island in 1989-2000?

3
Santa Catalina Island
  • Location Southern California Bight Part of the
    Channel Islands
  • Size 22 miles long, 8 miles wide
  • Bald Eagle Population Before DDT exposure there
    was a minimum of 24 breeding pairs on the island.
    By 1960, there were no bald eagles on the island.

4
Santa Catalina Island Bald Eagle Time Line Part
I
  • 1960 Bald eagles disappear from the Channel
    Islands
  • 1972 The Environmental Protection Agency bans
    DDT in the United States
  • 1980-1986 Reintroduction of bald eagles on Santa
    Catalina Island
  • 1985 A report is published detailing the
    discharge of DDT between 1940-1970 in the ocean
    surrounding Santa Catalina Island
  • Late 1980s The reintroduced bald eagles were
    unable to successfully reproduce, scientists took
    blood samples from the eagles, and found high
    levels of DDE.

5
Santa Catalina Island Bald Eagle Time Line Part
II
  • 1990 The United States Government and the State
    of California filed a lawsuit against Montrose
    Chemical Corporation and others for dumping DDT
    into the environment.
  • 1992-3 United States Geological Survey (USGS)
    found more than 100 metric tons of DDTs remained
    on the ocean bottom of the Palos Verdes Shelf
    (near Santa Catalina Island).
  • 2000 The federal and state governments settled
    the final remaining claims against the companies
    responsible for dumping DDT into the Pacific
    Ocean near Santa Catalina Island.

6
DDT Dumping Surrounding Santa Catalina Island
  • What birds were particularly harmed by DDT on
    Santa Catalina Island?
  • Bald eagles
  • Peregrine falcons
  • Gulls
  • How were they harmed?
  • Bald eagles and other birds suffered neurological
    damage through direct consumption of DDE
    contaminated prey.
  • Eggshell thinning, death before hatching
  • How was the dumping discovered?
  • Scientists noticed that bald eagles reintroduced
    to Santa Catalina Island did not successfully
    reproduce and had high concentrations of DDE in
    the their blood.
  • What is being done now?
  • Brown pelicans
  • Cormorants

7
An Actual Bald Eagle Example
  • A poisoned 12-year-old female eagle living on
    Santa Catalina Island since 1981 was found in
    1993 with the following symptoms
  • Body tremors
  • Eye twitching
  • Lack of coordination
  • Concentration of DDE in the brain of the
    12-year-old female was 212 µg/g
  • Concentration of DDE in the brain of a bald eagle
    that died in a DDT feeding trial 58 86 µg/g.
  • Concentration of DDE in the liver of the
    12-year-old female was 838 µg/g
  • Concentration of DDE in the liver of a bald eagle
    that died in a DDT feeding trial 280-715 µg/g
    .

8
Why bald eagles are harmed by DDT
  • Bald eagles are high in the food web.
  • In addition to eating fresh fish, bald eagles are
    scavengers and eat the carcasses of birds and
    mammals.
  • When bald eagles feed on seabirds and seal
    carcasses, they consume fish-eating animals and
    thus bioaccumulate DDT.

9
Major DDT Transfer Pathways
Peregrine Falcons
Bald Eagles
Gulls and other Water Birds
Sea Lions
Volatilization
DDT Enters the System
Dissolved DDT
Fish
Diffusion
DDT in Sediment
Invertebrates
10
Santa Catalina Island Bald Eagle Diet
11
Bald Eagle Prey and DDE
12
Bald Eagles and DDE
  • Birds and mammals account for a small amount of
    the bald eagle diet, but are the source of much
    of the bald eagles DDE exposure.
  • Osprey do not feed on tertiary consumers such as
    fish-eating birds and sea mammals this results
    in lower DDE concentrations.

13
Continued Reproductive Failure of Reintroduced
Bald Eagles on Santa Catalina Island
  • In 1980 bald eagles were reintroduced to Santa
    Catalina Island.
  • For several years, scientists noticed that the
    reintroduced eagles were not successfully
    reproducing.
  • In 1989, scientists began testing eggs from the
    bald eagles nests on Santa Catalina Island and
    found the highest levels of DDE concentration
    ever recorded for bald eagles scientists
    compared these DDE levels with other locations
    just as you did on days three and four.
  • Naturally, the investigating scientists wondered
    how the levels of DDE became so high.

14
  • Montrose Chemical Corporation others
  • v.
  • United States Government State of California

15
Montrose Chemical Corporation
  • Pesticide manufacturer Manufactured DDT
  • Between 1940-1970 Montrose discharged 1800 tons
    of DDT into Los Angeles sewers that dumped into
    the Pacific Ocean.
  • Montrose dumped hundreds of tons of DDT
    contaminated waste into the ocean near Santa
    Catalina Island.
  • Montrose closed its DDT factory in 1982.

16
United States Government State of California
  • The US Government and State of California fought
    a 10 year court battle and the final settlement
    hinged on the analysis similar to the activities
    you did on day three and four.
  • Total value of all settlements paid to the
    federal and state government - 140 million
    (Montrose paid about 70 million and other
    parties paid about 70 million)
  • Most of the money was granted to U.S.
    Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the
    DDTs exposure to people and wildlife and
    reimburse the government for the litigation
    costs.
  • 30 million is going to natural resource
    restoration projects.

17
The government agencies that received settlement
funds
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • National Park Service
  • California Department of Fish and Game
  • California State Lands Commission
  • California Department of Parks and Recreation

18
  • According to the Superfund Law -The Comprehensive
    Environmental Response, Compensation, and
    Liability Act (CERCLA)
  • Government agencies must use settlement funds for
    cleanup, restoration, fines and penalties, and
    reimbursement of government costs.

19
What is Restoration?
  • Restoration is the process of assisting the
    recovery of an ecosystem (or habitat) that has
    been degraded, damaged, or destroyed.
  • Although it is important that restoration takes
    place after damage has been done, it is more
    important to make efforts to avoid damaging the
    environment in the first place.

20
Restoration Activities
  • Projects to benefit bald eagles on Santa Catalina
    Island.
  • Fish contaminant concentrations are surveyed to
    create a cleaner fishing environment for people
    and wildlife.
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