Contaminants assessment in the coral reefs of Virgin Islands National Park and Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument

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Abstract

Coral, fish, plankton, and detritus samples were collected from coral reefs in Virgin Islands National Park (VIIS) and Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument (VICR) to assess existing contamination levels. Passive water sampling using polar organic chemical integrative samplers (POCIS) and semi-permeable membrane devices found a few emerging pollutants of concern (DEET and galaxolide) and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. Very little persistent organic chemical contamination was detected in the tissue or detritus samples. Detected contaminants were at concentrations below those reported to be harmful to aquatic organisms. Extracts from the POCIS were subjected to the yeast estrogen screen (YES) to assess potential estrogenicity of the contaminant mixture. Results of the YES (estrogen equivalency of 0.17-0.31. ng/L 17-β-estradiol) indicated a low estrogenicity likelihood for contaminants extracted from water. Findings point to low levels of polar and non-polar organic contaminants in the bays sampled within VICR and VIIS. © 2013.

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Bargar, T. A., Garrison, V. H., Alvarez, D. A., & Echols, K. R. (2013). Contaminants assessment in the coral reefs of Virgin Islands National Park and Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 70(1–2), 281–288. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.03.001

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