Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Abstract. In situ and laboratory bioassays using the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, were undertaken in the Wright River Estuary, South Carolina, to determine the toxic potential of effluent and sediment from recently dredged sediments. Current standards (ASTM, USEPA, and USACE) rely solely on laboratory-based bioassays to assess toxicity of dredge spoils prior to disposal. These bioassays do not necessarily replicate the natural physicochemical estuarine processes, limiting the environmental realism of this approach. In this study, oysters were collected from a site on Leadenwah Creek (SC) and deployed in plastic cages anchored above the sediment and within the intertidal zone for 90 days at four dredge spoil disposal areas (18 sites total, one bushel/site). Oysters were also deployed at a reference site (New River Estuary, SC) and the original collection site. Trace metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in tissue, sediment, and effluent samples as well as the assessment of oyster health in adults (% mortality and % reduction in potential yield) and larvae (larval development) were measured. Results indicated high arsenic concentrations in surface water samples (〈10 to 147 μg/L), some of which exceeded the USEPA chronic marine water quality criteria and sediment concentrations (〈1.0–82.2 mg/kg), which also exceeded the ERM (70 mg/kg) and the ERL (8.2 mg/kg) for arsenic, and which may have contributed to the toxic response seen in deployed oysters. A positive relationship was also seen between the in situ percent reduction in potential yield and laboratory-derived data from larval oyster development bioassays. The advantage of the combined in situ/laboratory approach used in this study is the ability to resolve probable factors influencing the toxicity of these effluents to oysters.
Type of Medium: