Rachel Adams Receives A Grant

Project Title:  Quantifying Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Urban Watersheds Using Bivalves and Passive Samplers

PIs:  Keith Maruya & Rachel Adams

Funding Agency:  USC SeaGrant

Grant Date:  2/2010 – 5/2013

There are thousands of different chemicals/contaminants of emerging concern (CECs); however, little is known about their sources, occurrence, levels and potential for biological effects in coastal marine systems. Among the highest priority CECs in the aquatic environment are those with the potential for sub-lethal impacts at very low concentrations, such as “endocrine disrupting compounds” (EDCs).  The contribution of land-based sources of CECs, however, remains unknown.  Passive sampling devices (PSDs) are cost-effective alternatives to conventional water quality measurement tools for quantifying ultra-low levels of toxic contaminants like CECs.  The use of two types of PSDs for detecting sub ng/L concentrations of legacy organic pollutants in situ has been previously demonstrated. These same PSDs may also be useful for measuring several classes of CECs.

In order to further understand the sources and quantities of potentially toxic CECs in the aquatic environment, Rachel Adams (LMU) is working with Keith Maruya (Southern Coastal Water Research Project; SCCWRP) and other researchers with funding from USC Sea Grant to:  1) select and calibrate PSDs for high priority CECs; 2) compare the accumulation of target CECs by native bivalves with PSD measurements; and 3) identify runoff sources and/or areas of elevated CEC input by land use in urban coastal areas.