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Land Use Changes and Water Quality Impacts: St. Lucie Estuary, Florida


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Title: Land Use Changes and Water Quality Impacts: St. Lucie Estuary, Florida

Land Use Changes and Water Quality Impacts St.
Lucie Estuary, Florida
  • Jawed Hameedi
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Silver Spring, Maryland
  • National Water Quality Monitoring Council Meeting
  • West Palm Beach, FL
  • October 31, 2006

NOAAs Study ofEnvironmental Toxicity in St.
Lucie Estuary, Florida
  • Collaborators and Partners
  • Dr. Joan Browder, NOAA (Fish Disease and
  • Dr. Ed Johnson, NOAA (Contaminants, Database,
    Study Coordination)
  • Dr. Tony Pait, NOAA (Endocrine Disruption)
  • Dr. Kimani Kimbrough, NOAA (Information
  • Dr. Mike Fulton, NOAA (Clam assay, Microtox,
    Field Support)
  • Dr. Pete Key, NOAA (AChE Test)
  • Dr. Laura McConnel, USDA/ARS (Pesticides)
  • Dr. Scott Carr, USGS (Sea Urchin Bioassays)
  • Dr. Scott Steinert, CSC (Comet Assay)
  • Dr. Nancy Denslow, University Florida (Endocrine
  • Mr. Mark Perry, FOS (Field Operational Support)
  • Dr. Jack Anderson, CAS (HRGS Test)
  • Dr. Jim Brooks, TDI (Contaminant Analyses)
  • Mr. Dave Lewis, TOXSCAN (Amphipod Toxicity)
  • Ms. Michele Redmond, NW Aquatic Sciences
    (Amphipod Toxicity)
  • Barry A. Vittor and Associates, Inc. (Benthos)

St. Lucie Estuary
  • St. Lucie Metropolitan
  • 381,033 (2005)
  • St. Lucie County
  • Population 241,305 (est.)
  • Percent change
  • 1990-2000 28
  • 2000-2005 25
  • Listed among the fastest growing counties in the
  • Data U.S. Census Bureau
  • Graphics SFWMD

SLE Water Quality Concerns
  • Impact of Freshwater Discharge
  • Fish health (disease and deformities) osmotic
  • Oyster mortality, decreased growth, reproduction
    and spat recruitment
  • Resuspension (contaminants, sediment, fungi)
  • Muck sediment displaced normal SAV substrate
  • Impact of Land-Use Activities
  • Agrochemicals
  • Industrial chemicals
  • Sewage and stormwater
  • Legacy contaminants
  • Habitat loss and alteration

El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) December
1997-April 1998
  • Heavy rainfall 30 in (2.65 x normal)
  • Extremely large release of water from Lake
  • Incidence of disease in fish and mortality
  • Toxic dinoflagellate blooms
  • Reduced biodiversity (freshwater and estuarine
  • Increased muck sediment stirred-up toxics
  • SLRIT funded 8 studies in 2000 (and beyond)
    Joint Project Agreement with NOAA

The study area is also a component of the
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
Indian River Lagoon South
  • Water storage reservoirs
  • Freshwater flow diversions
  • Stormwater treatment areas
  • Wetlands and SAV restoration and enhancement
  • Nitrogen and phosphorus reductions
  • Restoration of oyster beds
  • Removal of muck sediment from hot spots in SLE

Principal Study Objective
  • Characterize St. Lucie Estuary in terms of (1)
    levels of contaminants, (2) incidence and
    severity of toxicity, and (3) benthic macrofaunal
    communities i.e., Sediment Quality Triad (SQT)

Supplementary Objectives contaminant of concern
  • Elucidate cause-effect relationships in terms of
    contaminant effects on biota (Fulton, Ringwood)
  • Develop a simulation model for the estuary that
    is capable of describing environmental conditions
    under different freshwater discharge scenarios
  • Formulate a long-term monitoring strategy that
    could be adopted for use by resource management
    entities, e.g., state, SFWMD, etc.

Sampling strata and sites (30)
Spatial Extent of Sediment Toxicity
  • Toxicity Bioassays
  • Amphipod survival (solid phase)
  • Sea urchin fertilization and larval development
    (pore water)
  • Microtox test (organic extract)
  • HRGS bioassay (organic extract)
  • Contaminant Levels
  • Trace elements
  • Chlorinated pesticides
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Butyltins
  • Dioxins, dibenzofurans, planar PCBs, new
  • Benthic Biological Community
  • Species richness
  • Species diversity
  • Indicator species (pollution tolerant, pollution
  • Benthic Index

Copper in Sediment (µg/ dry g)
NOAA Ocean Service
Copper ERL 34 ERM 270 (µg/ dry g)
Results of Amphipod Toxicity Testing, Year 2003
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
NOAA Ocean Service
Aggregated SQT values for two sampling strata in
Galveston Bay. Note the relative sizes and
numerical values of the two strata (550 and
21)(Hameedi, 2004 Hameedi, in prep.)
Aggregated SQT values for sampling strata in St.
Lucie Estuary
General Conclusions
  • Low levels of toxic contaminants, including
    contaminants of emerging concern
  • Copper a possible chemical of concern
  • Relatively speaking, Strata 1 and 2 (North and
    South Forks, respectively) are degraded due to
    toxic chemicals, incidence of toxicity and
    depleted benthic fauna
  • Pockets or sites with relatively high levels of
    toxic chemicals, such as mercury

Copper a contaminant of concern
  • Ambient levels in sediments exceed ERL and TEL
    levels (34 and 19 mg/kg) consensus level of
    concern 100 mg/kg
  • Tissue residues in oysters high relative to the
    85th percentile of nationwide MW data
  • EC 50 values Cu spiked assays (LC50 125
    mg/kg LOEC 31 mg/kg)
  • Probability of toxicity based on logistics
    regression (nationwide data Field, et al., 2002)
    for 100 mg/kg Cu, p0.52
  • Biomarker response

Evidence from biomarkersA. Ringwood
  • Bioaccumulation of Cu in deployed oysters
  • 375 to 500 mg/kg
  • MW 85th percentile 360 ppm
  • Three biomarkers
  • Lysosomal destabilization
  • Glutathione concentration
  • Lipid peroxidation levels
  • Cu concentrations sufficiently high to be
    causing significant sub-lethal effects

Vitellogenin expression in SLE fish --
feminization of male fish
  • Vitellogenin (Vtg) is an egg yolk precursor
    protein expressed only in female fish it is
    normally dormant in male fish.
  • However, when male fish are exposed to EDCs the
    Vtg gene is expressed in a dose dependent manner
    APEs, other contaminants
  • Vtg is also a carrier binds to materials that
    are essential for normal development (it will
    also bind to certain pollutants causing
    reproductive impairment or failure)

Presence of plasma Vtg in male fish(Jupiter
Inlet St. Lucie Estuary)Denslow/Kroll 2002
  • Irish pompano
  • 38 to 100 percent of fish from JI
  • 79 percent of fish from SLE
  • Mangrove snapper
  • 66 percent of fish from JI
  • 42 to 100 percent fish from SLE
  • Spottail pinfish a sequential hermaphrodite

What Next?
  • Copper as a contaminant of concern
  • Follow-up copper sampling in 2005 (FL DEP) more
    than 100 sites
  • Mass balance and source attribution of copper
  • Forecasting of copper loading and distribution
    (modeling and monitoring) under different source
    control scenarios
  • BMPs implementation
  • TMDL calculations

Whats next for FL grapefruit?
  • Grapefruit growers receive the lowest share of
    the retail price (14 percent)
  • U.S. consumer demand has been declining
    throughout the 2000s
  • Increased variety of fruit available in winter
  • Grapefruit is not a convenient food
  • Association side effects -- between grapefruit
    and certain medicines (cholesterol blood
    pressure arrhythmic heart)
  • Citrus canker, citrus greening quarantine?
  • Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne (2004)
  • Devastating and long-lasting damage to orchards
    in St. Lucie and Indian River counties.

  • Thank You
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