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Livermore, CA, United States

Schiff K.,Southern California Coastal Water Research Project | Brown J.,Southern California Coastal Water Research Project | Trump S.,ADH Environmental | Hardin D.,Applied Marine science
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2015

Stormwater is a challenging source of coastal pollution to abate because stormwater also involves complex natural processes, and differentiating these processes from anthropogenic excesses is difficult. The goal of this study was to identify the natural concentrations of stormwater constituents along the 1377. km coastline of California, USA. Twenty-eight ocean reference sites, a priori defined by lack of human disturbance in its adjacent watershed, were collected following 78 site-events and measured for 57 constituents and toxicity. Results indicated a complete lack of toxicity and undetectable levels of anthropogenic constituents (i.e., pesticides). The range of concentrations in ocean receiving waters for naturally-occurring constituents (i.e., total suspended solids, nutrients, trace metals) typically ranged three orders of magnitude. Regional differences and storm characteristics did not explain much of the variations in concentration. The reference site information is now being used to establish targets for marine protected areas subject to runoff from developed watersheds. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Trowbridge P.R.,San Francisco Estuary Institute | Davis J.A.,San Francisco Estuary Institute | Mumley T.,San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board | Taberski K.,San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board | And 14 more authors.
Regional Studies in Marine Science | Year: 2016

The Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay (RMP) is a novel partnership between regulatory agencies and the regulated community to provide the scientific foundation to manage water quality in the largest Pacific estuary in the Americas. The RMP monitors water quality, sediment quality and bioaccumulation of priority pollutants in fish, bivalves and birds. To improve monitoring measurements or the interpretation of data, the RMP also regularly funds special studies. The success of the RMP stems from collaborative governance, clear objectives, and long-term institutional and monetary commitments. Over the past 22 years, high quality data and special studies from the RMP have guided dozens of important decisions about Bay water quality management. Moreover, the governing structure and the collaborative nature of the RMP have created an environment that allowed it to stay relevant as new issues emerged. With diverse participation, a foundation in scientific principles and a continual commitment to adaptation, the RMP is a model water quality monitoring program. This paper describes the characteristics of the RMP that have allowed it to grow and adapt over two decades and some of the ways in which it has influenced water quality management decisions for this important ecosystem. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source


Miller M.A.,Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center | Miller M.A.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Kudela R.M.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Mekebri A.,Water Pollution Control Laboratory | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

"Super-blooms" of cyanobacteria that produce potent and environmentally persistent biotoxins (microcystins) are an emerging global health issue in freshwater habitats. Monitoring of the marine environment for secondary impacts has been minimal, although microcystin-contaminated freshwater is known to be entering marine ecosystems. Here we confirm deaths of marine mammals from microcystin intoxication and provide evidence implicating land-sea flow with trophic transfer through marine invertebrates as the most likely route of exposure. This hypothesis was evaluated through environmental detection of potential freshwater and marine microcystin sources, sea otter necropsy with biochemical analysis of tissues and evaluation of bioaccumulation of freshwater microcystins by marine invertebrates. Ocean discharge of freshwater microcystins was confirmed for three nutrient-impaired rivers flowing into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and microcystin concentrations up to 2,900 ppm (2.9 million ppb) were detected in a freshwater lake and downstream tributaries to within 1 km of the ocean. Deaths of 21 southern sea otters, a federally listed threatened species, were linked to microcystin intoxication. Finally, farmed and free-living marine clams, mussls and oysters of species that are often consumed by sea otters and humans exhibited significant biomagnification (to 107 times ambient water levels) and slow depuration of freshwater cyanotoxins, suggesting a potentially serious environmental and public health threat that extends from the lowest trophic levels of nutrient-impaired freshwater habitat to apex marine predators. Microcystin-poisoned sea otters were commonly recovered near river mouths and harbors and contaminated marine bivalves were implicated as the most likely source of this potent hepatotoxin for wild otters. This is the first report of deaths of marine mammals due to cyanotoxins and confirms the existence of a novel class of marine "harmful algal bloom" in the Pacific coastal environment; that of hepatotoxic shellfish poisoning (HSP), suggesting that animals and humans are at risk from microcystin poisoning when consuming shellfish harvested at the land-sea interface. © 2010 Miller et al. Source


Oates S.C.,University of California at Davis | Oates S.C.,Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center | Miller M.A.,Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center | Hardin D.,Applied Marine science | And 7 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2012

The risk of disease transmission from waterborne protozoa is often dependent on the origin (e.g., domestic animals versus wildlife), overall parasite load in contaminated waterways, and parasite genotype, with infections being linked to runoff or direct deposition of domestic animal and wildlife feces. Fecal samples collected from domestic animals and wildlife along the central California coast were screened to (i) compare the prevalence and associated risk factors for fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium and Giardia species parasites, (ii) evaluate the relative importance of animal host groups that contribute to pathogen loading in coastal ecosystems, and (iii) characterize zoonotic and host-specific genotypes. Overall, 6% of fecal samples tested during 2007 to 2010 were positive for Cryptosporidium oocysts and 15% were positive for Giardia cysts. Animal host group and age class were significantly associated with detection of Cryptosporidium and Giardia parasites in animal feces. Fecal loading analysis revealed that infected beef cattle potentially contribute the greatest parasite load relative to other host groups, followed by wild canids. Beef cattle, however, shed host-specific, minimally zoonotic Cryptosporidium and Giardia duodenalis genotypes, whereas wild canids shed potentially zoonotic genotypes, including G. duodenalis assemblages A and B. Given that the parasite genotypes detected in cattle were not zoonotic, the public health risk posed by protozoan parasite shedding in cattle feces may be lower than that posed by other animals, such as wild canids, that routinely shed zoonotic genotypes. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. Source

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