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Accession Number 5001776

Title Applying a bioassessment and monitoring framework for public lands and trust

resources in coastal and estuarine habitats of the United States

Project Description The Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) program is designed to assess and

monitor the effects of environmental contaminants on biological resources, particularly those

under the stewardship of the Department of the Interior. As part of this program, the threat of

contaminants and other anthropogenic activities to terrestrial vertebrates residing in or near

Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf, and Great Lakes estuarine and coastal ecosystems is being evaluated by

data synthesis and field activities. An interdisciplinary multi-Center project has been initiated that

will summarize extant contaminant exposure and effects data for terrestrial vertebrates inhabiting

estuarine and coastal habitat along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, Gulf of Mexico, Alaska,

Hawaii, and in the Great Lakes. This information will be maintained in the Contaminant Exposure

and Effects-- Terrestrial Vertebrates (CEE-TV) database and the Biological and Ecotoxicological

Characteristics of Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Residing in Estuaries that are currently

accessible on the World Wide Web. These data will be analyzed using descriptive and exploratory

statistical methods to determine differences in the number of records, concentrations of

contaminants detected, and measures of contaminant exposure and effects among species,

states, estuaries, and broad geographic regions. Temporal trends and apparent data gaps (by

estuarine and coastal habitat, state, and Department of the Interior properties) will be identified.

Watersheds will be ranked on the basis of the density of ecotoxicological data and on indices of

watershed condition, vulnerability to pollution, and potential for management activities that mitigate

contaminant effects on wildlife. In addition, information is being compiled on the biomonitoring

utility and contaminant vulnerability of many terrestrial vertebrates species commonly found in

estuarine and coastal habitat. The data generated from this project will enable natural resource

managers, scientists and the public to better implement various research, management, and

conservation programs.

Keywords amphibians, birds, contaminants, ecotoxicology, gis, information transfer, mammals, methods

development, monitoring, reptiles, status and trends,

Principal Barnett A Rattner, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: barnerr_rattner@usgs.gov; Roger L

Investigators Hothem, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: roger_hothem@usgs.gov; Thomas W Custer,

Upper Mississippi Science Center: thomas_custer@usgs.gov;

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