Newport Bay sediment toxicity studies

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Newport Bay is an important southern California lagoon, with its upper and lower portions serving different uses. The ecological reserve in the upper bay protects one of the few remaining estuarine habitats in southern California for coastal wetlands wildlife and estuarine marine life. The developed lower bay is the focus of recreational boating and fishing.

The Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) initiated a project in August 2000 to examine the extent and nature of adverse impacts to Newport Bay resulting from sediment contamination. This project had three objectives: 1) provide a recent assessment of the relative extent of sediment toxicity in Newport Bay, 2) determine whether sediments represent a significant source of toxicity to water column organisms in Newport Bay, and 3) identify which sediment constituents are responsible for adverse biological effects. Results from this study are expected to complement ongoing efforts to develop TMDLs for toxics in Newport Bay by determining which contaminants are adversely impacting marine life in the bay.

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