State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2012HI389B
Title: Bioaccumulation and biotransformation of arsenic by marine algae in Hawaii
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2012
End Date: 2/28/2013
Congressional District: 1st
Focus Categories: Water Quality, Surface Water, Toxic Substances
Keywords: Algae, Arsenic, Pesticide, bioaccumulation
Principal Investigator: Moravcik, Philip
Federal Funds: $ 3,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 5,920
Abstract: Marine algae are known to bioaccumulate and transform Arsenic (AS). AS was used in earlier decades as a pesticide on agricultural fields in Hawaii. Macroalgae collected at some sites on the shore of Oahu have been found to contain elevated concentrations of AS. Runoff of contaminated former agricultural fields is the suspected source. Furthermore several species of macroalgae are commonly gathered and consumed as human food.

We propose to collect samples of one or more algae species from beaches around the island of Oahu. We will analyze these samples for the amount and species of arsenic compounds they contain.

We will evaluate the findings of these analyses in regard to the geographic distribution of the samples and historical agricultural activities in the areas surrounding the collection sites.

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