WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH GRANT PROPOSAL
Project ID: 2002OR10B
Title: Environmental Analysis and Impact Assessment of Endocrine Disrupters in the Willamette River: A Web-Based Information System
Project Type: Research
Focus Categories: Management and Planning, Surface Water, Water Quality
Keywords: Endocrine disruptors, Internet, databases, hydrology, watersheds, water quality, public education
Start Date: 02/15/2002
End Date: 02/14/2003
Federal Funds: $10,309
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $20,524
Congressional District: Oregon 5th
Tarek A. Kassim
Oregon State University
Endocrine disruption (ED) or endocrine disrutping chemicals (EDCs) has been the focus of an increasing number of scientific investigations in recent years. At least 45 synthetic chemicals from several chemical groups have been identified as potentially having ED effects. Some of these chemicals have the potential to cause reproductive impairment in aquatic organisms.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program recently found evidence of endocrine disruption in common carp and largemouth bass collected from waterways that contain synthetic organic compounds. Evidence indicates concentrations of sex steroid hormones (estrogen and testosterone) and vitellogenin (egg protein produced by females) were different in fish from contaminated and reference sites. Characterization, assessment, prediction, and management of the environmental impact of EDCs in aquatic systems across the USA pose many challenges. The Willamette River is the 10th largest river in the United States and drains the heart of Oregon. A recent study by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicated the organic contamination of the river. Accordingly, the present proposal introduces a web-based information system (WBIS) that can help: (1) Characterize the potential impact of EDCs based on the organic chemical composition of both water and sediment samples; (2) Estimate the potential ecological effect of EDCs present in the Willamette river environment; (3) Assign the potential impact to a certain fraction(s) or a group of individual contaminants; and (4) Model the ultimate fate and transport of the characterized EDCs in the study area.