Journal of Marine Biology & Oceanography ISSN: 2324-8661

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Contaminants of Concern in the Marine Environment: The Need for New Monitoring and Assessment Strategies

Contaminants of Concern in the Marine Environment: The Need for New Monitoring and Assessment Strategies

More than 156 million people, over half of the U.S. population, live in the coastal zone. These areas contribute $7.9 trillion to the U.S. economy. Economic development within the coastal zone may result in the discharge of chemical contaminants into coastal ecosystems from sewage treatment plants, industrial point sources and urban and agricultural nonpoint source runoff. Aquatic monitoring programs have long measured legacy contaminants such as DDT and PCBs, but are increasingly being asked to focus on modern commercial chemicals that as a group are referred to as Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs). CECs present many challenges, often because measurement methods don’t yet exist nor have toxicological studies yet been conducted to place monitoring results in proper context. This challenge is exacerbated because many CECs interact with hormone systems in wildlife to affect reproduction and development in ways that are not assessed through traditional toxicological evaluations.

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