Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2014GA341B

Validation of Oysters as Biomonitors of Pharmaceutical Pollution in Georgia

Institute: Georgia
Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $18,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $36,017

Principal Investigators: Marsha Black

Abstract: Oysters are excellent pollution biomonitors because of their sessile nature, immense water filtration capacity and long lifespan. The proposed study will examine native eastern oyster populations as biomonitors of pharmaceutical pollution in two estuarine areas of coastal Georgia: the Brunswick River and Duplin River estuaries. Oyster biomonitoring will be correlated with shell aging techniques to investigate the influence of age and exposure duration on accumulation of pharmaceuticals. Accumulation data will be combined with measurements of partitioning of pharmaceuticals between suspended particles and sediment to provide a clearer image of the fate and distribution of pharmaceuticals as they move through estuarine tidal creeks. Finally, pollution indices of pharmaceuticals will be calculated to rank sites based on targeted pharmaceutical analytes and relate biomonitoring data to other indicators of human sewage pollution.