Presentation Abstract

Currently discharge limits enforced under the Clean Water Act are focused on meeting National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) limits at the end of the pipe and environmental performance is measured based on meeting the NPDES discharge limits; but meeting discharge limits has very little to do with achieving water quality goals for coastal and estuarine ecosystems. Therefore an effective monitoring and assessment program is needed to assess continuous process improvement, evaluate the ecological conditions, and provide metrics that can inform effective management of coastal and estuarine water quality. Here we report on an ambient monitoring program within Sinclair and Dyes Inlets, WA that was established to characterize environmental conditions, assess potential impacts, and track environmental quality trends within the Inlets. A network of water, sediment, and biota monitoring locations were selected that were co-located near suspected sources (industrial, waste water, and stormwater outfalls; marinas, stream mouths, and other sources) and locations that were representative of ambient marine and nearshore conditions for periodic sampling. Water column stations and effluents from industrial outfalls were sampled seasonally for trace metals, conventional parameters, and toxicity. Indigenous mussels have been sampled semi-annually for contaminant residues of metals and toxic organic compounds, and sediment monitoring is being conducted at five-eight year intervals. Key management questions include: (1) Are discharges from the naval shipyard protective of beneficial uses? (2) Are discharges from all sources of contamination impacting the quality of water, sediment, and biota in the Inlets? (3) What is the status and trend of water, sediment, and biota residue quality in the Inlets? Results from 2009-2016 monitoring provide metrics that are being used to evaluate ecosystem recovery and assess progress toward meeting environmental quality goals for the watershed.

Session Title

Monitoring Stormwater Impacts on Contaminants in Receiving Waters

Keywords

Clean Water Act (CWA), National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), whole water toxicity testing, mussel watch, trace metals, Cu, Zn, Hg, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)

Conference Track

SSE3: Fate, Transport, and Toxicity of Chemicals

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE3-260

Start Date

6-4-2018 1:45 PM

End Date

6-4-2018 2:00 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 6th, 1:45 PM Apr 6th, 2:00 PM

Ambient monitoring to inform the protection of beneficial uses and achieve water quality goals in Sinclair and Dyes Inlets, Puget Sound, WA

Currently discharge limits enforced under the Clean Water Act are focused on meeting National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) limits at the end of the pipe and environmental performance is measured based on meeting the NPDES discharge limits; but meeting discharge limits has very little to do with achieving water quality goals for coastal and estuarine ecosystems. Therefore an effective monitoring and assessment program is needed to assess continuous process improvement, evaluate the ecological conditions, and provide metrics that can inform effective management of coastal and estuarine water quality. Here we report on an ambient monitoring program within Sinclair and Dyes Inlets, WA that was established to characterize environmental conditions, assess potential impacts, and track environmental quality trends within the Inlets. A network of water, sediment, and biota monitoring locations were selected that were co-located near suspected sources (industrial, waste water, and stormwater outfalls; marinas, stream mouths, and other sources) and locations that were representative of ambient marine and nearshore conditions for periodic sampling. Water column stations and effluents from industrial outfalls were sampled seasonally for trace metals, conventional parameters, and toxicity. Indigenous mussels have been sampled semi-annually for contaminant residues of metals and toxic organic compounds, and sediment monitoring is being conducted at five-eight year intervals. Key management questions include: (1) Are discharges from the naval shipyard protective of beneficial uses? (2) Are discharges from all sources of contamination impacting the quality of water, sediment, and biota in the Inlets? (3) What is the status and trend of water, sediment, and biota residue quality in the Inlets? Results from 2009-2016 monitoring provide metrics that are being used to evaluate ecosystem recovery and assess progress toward meeting environmental quality goals for the watershed.