Pacific EcoRisk

Pesticide Impacts on Aquatic Ecosystems

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Application of pesticides is important in several areas, including maintaining agricultural productivity, a variety of urban uses (gardening, household pest control, and even pet grooming), and maintenance of rights-of-way, water conveyances, and boating facilities. And while significant improvements have been achieved in developing newer pesticides and the development of improved application and management practices, these essential chemicals can still pose potential ecological risk under adverse conditions. In addition, the legacy of historical-use environmentally-persistent pesticides (e.g., DDT and other organochlorines) continues to impact aquatic ecosystems as a result of bioaccumulation from sediments.

Pacific EcoRisk is very experienced in evaluating the variety of environmental problems that may result from pesticide applications. This includes evaluation of runoff-related problems, including toxicity to non-target organisms in waters and sediments, evaluation of the toxicity and bioaccumulation associated with “legacy” pesticides (e.g., DDT, dieldrin), as well as other issues and problems, including development of water quality objectives and site-specific water quality criteria.

Services that we provide in the evaluation of pesticide impacts include:

  • critical review of regulatory reports & TMDLs
  • ecological risk assessment
  • preparation of information (e.g., literature) reviews
  • assessment of “emerging-use” pesticides (e.g., pyrethroids)
  • expert witness services
  • site-specific water quality criteria development
  • aquatic and sediment toxicity testing
  • bioaccumulation studies
  • application and post-application runoff monitoring
  • bioassessment of receiving-water ecosystems
  • pesticide application monitoring

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