Chemical and ancillary data associated with bed sediment, young of year Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) tissue, and mussel (Mytilus edulis and Geukensia demissa) tissue collected after Hurricane Sandy in bays and estuaries of New Jersey and New York, 2013–14

Data Series 956
Prepared in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
By: , and 

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Abstract

This report describes the methods and data associated with a reconnaissance study of young of year bluefish and mussel tissue samples as well as bed sediment collected as bluefish habitat indicators during August 2013–April 2014 in New Jersey and New York following Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. This study was funded by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (PL 113-2) and was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Young of year Pomatomus saltatrix (bluefish) were collected from nine sites in New Jersey (N.J.) and New York (N.Y.) including Barnegat Bay, N.J., Sandy Hook Bay, N.J., Jamaica Bay, N.Y., and Great South Bay, N.Y., and analyzed for indicators of health and chemical contamination. At each bluefish sampling location, bed sediment was also collected and analyzed for a suite of contaminants. Resident mussels, Mytilus edulis (blue mussels) and (or) Geukensia demissa (ribbed mussels), were collected from 11 historic NOAA Mussel Watch Program sites along the N.J. and N.Y. coastlines in the winter/spring of 2014 and analyzed for contaminants. Individual age of a subset of the mussels sampled was also determined at each site.

Bed sediment samples were analyzed for a suite of organic contaminants including 34 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners, 28 polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners, 24 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), 53 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and alkylated PAHs, 33 aliphatic hydrocarbons (AHs), and 10 petroleum biomarkers (steranes and hopanes). Bed sediment collected from the Navesink River (Sandy Hook, N.J.), Metedeconk River (Barnegat Bay, N.J.), and Toms River (Barnegat Bay, N.J.) had the highest concentrations of contaminants compared to the other sites.

Bluefish and mussel tissue collected throughout the study area was analyzed for 34 PCB congeners, 28 PBDE congeners, and 24 OCPs. Thirty-three PCB congeners, 22 PBDE congeners, and 24 OCPs were detected in the bluefish analyzed. The highest median concentrations of total PCBs were present in tissue from Jamaica Bay, N.Y., whereas the highest median concentrations of total PBDEs and total OCPs were present in tissue from Sandy Hook Bay. Of the OCPs detected, p,p’-DDE was found in 99 percent (%) of the tissue samples and at the highest median concentrations compared to the other OCPs.

Fish health assessments were conducted on 20 fish from the 4 bays. Results indicate that the sex ratio and the mean total length varied by site. Physical fish damage, such as lesions and parasites, was observed in fish from all four bays. The most common parasite observed visually was the presence of Livoneca redmanii, an ectoparasitic gill isopod, which can cause localized gill erosion. The prevalence of the gill isopod infestation ranged from 20% at Great South Bay, N.Y., to 35% at Jamaica Bay, N.Y.

Twenty three PCB congeners, 9 PBDE congeners, and 20 OCPs were detected in composite mussel samples collected throughout the study area. The co-eluting PCB congeners 153 and 132, PBDE 47, 99, and 100, and p,p’-DDE were detected in samples from each site. The highest median concentrations of PCBs and PBDEs were present in mussels from Raritan Bay, N.Y., whereas the highest median concentrations of OCPs were present in mussels from Fire Island Inlet, N.Y., and Shark River, N.J. Mytilus edulis (blue mussels) and Geukensia demissa (ribbed mussels) were thin-sectioned and aged. The blue mussels collected ranged in age from 4 to 13 years, and the ribbed mussels ranged in age from 3 to 12 years.

Suggested Citation

Smalling, K.L., Deshpande, A.D., Blazer, V.S., Galbraith, H., Dockum, B.W., Romanok, K.M., Colella, K., Deetz, A.C., Fisher, I.J., Imbrigiotta, T.E., Sharack, B., Sumner, L, Timmons, D., Trainor, J., Wieczorek, D, Samson, J., Reilly, T.J., and Focazio, M.J., 2015, Chemical and ancillary data associated with bed sediment, young of year bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) tissue, and mussel (Mytilus edulis and Geukensia demissa) tissue collected after Hurricane Sandy in bays and estuaries of New Jersey and New York, 2013–14: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 956, 18 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds956.

ISSN: 2327-638X (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Summary
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Chemical and ancillary data associated with bed sediment, young of year Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) tissue, and mussel (Mytilus edulis and Geukensia demissa) tissue collected after Hurricane Sandy in bays and estuaries of New Jersey and New York, 2013–14
Series title Data Series
Series number 956
DOI 10.3133/ds956
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) New Jersey Water Science Center
Description Report: x, 18 p.; Tables
Country United States
State New Jersey, New York
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y