State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2009ME172B
Title: A sequential time-weighted average monitoring approach for monitoring pesticide levels in Maine surface waters.
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2009
End Date: 2/28/2010
Congressional District: second
Focus Categories: Non Point Pollution, Toxic Substances, Surface Water
Keywords: Pesticides, fish ecology, water quality, agriculture, POCIS
Principal Investigator: Patterson, Howard; Charlestra, Lucner; Courtemanch, David
Federal Funds: $ 6,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 43,650
Abstract: The pesticides used in the cultivation of wild low bush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) in Washington and Hancock Counties (ME) alter Atlantic Salmon (Salmo solar) behavior. Surface water surveys conducted by the University of Maine and the Board of Pesticide Control (BPC) have detected hexazinone, phosmet, terbacil, chlorothalonil and propiconazole in rivers supporting Atlantic salmon populations (Yarborough, 2004; Jackson, 2003). The sampling methods traditionally used (grab sampling and ISCO auto samplers) provide concentration estimates only for the moment of sampling and do not assess temporal exposure of Atlantic Salmons or other aquatic organisms to episodic events in the streams. Therefore, there are unanswered questions about the term of exposure of Atlantic Salmons or other aquatic organisms to episodic events in the streams. This project proposes to use a passive sampler (Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Sampler [POCIS]) to develop a sequential monitoring approach to detect pesticides in some Washington and Hancock Counties watersheds that would estimate time-weighted average exposure. All the pesticides are now applied on the ground. Thus, another objective of this project is to conduct a leaching study under controlled laboratory conditions in order to investigate the transport of those compounds through the soil-water interface. The data generated from this portion of the project will be used to predict pesticide behavior under selected environmental conditions. Together, with the POCIS sampling protocols, and time weighted aquatic concentrations, environmental stakeholders will have tools for assessing the potential exposure of aquatic organisms to pesticides in the watersheds with commercial blueberry production.

Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF

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