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NOAA's GLRI Projects in TOXICS

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  • 1. Toxic Substances and Areas of Concern funded by the Great Lakes Restoration InitiativeNOAA is working to confront toxics in the Great Lakes. While concentrations of some persistent toxicsubstances have been significantly reduced in the Great Lakes over the past 30 years, toxins such aspolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are still present above levels considered safe for humans and wildlife,warranting fish consumption advisories in all five Great Lakes. In addition, chemicals of emerging concern,such as pharmaceuticals, are now being detected in the Great Lakes. NOAA is evaluating hazards from toxicsubstances so that regulatory and management responses can protect human and ecosystem health.Expanded Long-term Great Lakes EnvironmentalContaminant Monitoring Contamination DatabaseNOAA’s well established Mussel Making good decisions to improveWatch Program monitors the the environment and human healthstatus and trends of chemical requires high quality data. Thiscontamination and associated project will compile sediment andeffects in U.S. coastal waters, wildlife contamination data fromincluding the Great Lakes. a variety of sources to improveMussel Watch involves the NOAA’s Query Manager database.annual collection and analysis The project will allow the bestof mussels, which filter Great available data to be analyzedLakes water, to provide anindication of local contamination in a format that will inform andlevels. FY2010 funds will expand expedite decision-making related tomonitoring in the Great Lakes to cleanup and restoration. NOAA willdetermine impacts of contaminant releases, and to coordinate with and provide financial support to statescreen for contaminants of emerging concern. partners.Modeling Atmospheric Lake Sturgeon HealthMercury Deposition AssessmentRegional and global sources continue to deliver PCBs have been linked to cancer and other serious healthmercury to the Great Lakes via air deposition. effects in animals and humans. Lake sturgeon wereMercury can affect the human nervous system, historically one of the most important fish in the Greatfish and wildlife. The most common way people Lakes. Today, they are listed by the state of Michigan asare exposed is by eating fish or shellfish threatened, in part because PCB contamination affects their ability to reproduce. This project will determinecontaminated with mercury. NOAA will use model the concentration of PCBs inoutput to determine the amount, sturgeon tissue that affects theirsource, and types of atmospheric reproductive success. Resultsmercury deposited in the Great Lakes. will be applied to the assessment,Project results will be used to prioritize cleanup, and restoration ofactions that can be taken to reduce contaminated sites to improvemercury in the Great Lakes. habitat quality and fisheries. For more information contact: Jennifer Day, NOAA Great Lakes Regional Coordinator (734) 741-2266 jennifer.day@noaa.gov