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Originating from different activities that were part of the University of Alaska’s contribution to the Fourth International Polar Year, this interdisciplinary volume addresses a host of current concerns regarding the rapid transformation of the Arctic and its impacts on people and ecosystems. Close to a hundred contributors with a broad range of backgrounds examine Arctic change from an Alaska perspective, providing insight into different approaches of evaluating and preparing for environmental and socio-economic change. Thanks to its coverage of important social-ecological systems and processes, including fresh water, marine resources, the coasts, and oil and gas development, this volume explores opportunities...
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Description of Work Jeorse Park Beach is located in East Chicago, Indiana, within the Grand Calumet River Area of Concern (AOC), which has been identified as having all 14 beneficial use designations impaired, including beach closings. Jeorse Park Beach has been identified as one of the most highly contaminated beaches in the nation, with annual beach closings due to bacterial contamination as high as 76% in 2010. Further, beach closings have steadily increased each year since beach monitoring was initiated in 2005 in response to the Beaches Environmental and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act. Beach closings represent an environmental, social, and economic burden, the alleviation of which require various remediation strategies...
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The overarching project goal was to develop overlapping conceptual models of environmental and community health indicators in reference to climate forecasts. The sensitivity of species and habitats to climate was cross-walked with recently developed Coast Salish community health indicators (e.g., ceremonial use, knowledge exchange, and physiological well-being) in order to demonstrate how Indigenous Knowledge can be used in conjunction with established landscape-level conservation indicators (e.g., shellfish and water-quality) and employed to identify resource management priorities. Project products include: (1) maps and models that highlight potential impacts in regard to Swinomish first foods and cultural sites;...
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Description of Work USGS scientists will develop support to State partners for the removal of Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) such as fish consumption advisories, fish tumor presence, Eutrophication and unwanted algae, drinking water problems, beach health, and concentrations of PCBs in lake trout and walleyes. Areas of Concern (AOC) principles and guidelines were developed as an initial reference point from which appropriate restoration criteria could be developed. Stage 2 Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) were developed for each of these AOCs to address impairments to any one of 14 beneficial uses associated with these areas. Specific remediation actions are completed in order to restore the beneficial use. When...
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Description of WorkThe success of GLRI beach restoration projects must be assessed to determine whether goals of recipients are on track and identify any developing unforeseen consequences of restoration efforts. Implementation of multiple BMPs during restoration can make understanding the impacts of individual BMPs difficult. However, proper site selection and well-designed monitoring and assessment plan can overcome such difficulties. The urban beaches chosen for evaluation are at various stages of the restoration process and located in Indiana (Jeorse Park Beach), Illinois (63rd Street Beach), and Wisconsin (North Beach). Data used for evaluation include continuous monitoring and synoptic mapping of nearshore...
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Description of Work Predictive models have been used at beaches to improve the timeliness and accuracy of recreational water-quality assessments over the most common current approach to water-quality monitoring, which relies on culturing fecal-indicator bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli.)
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Fibrous erionite, a zeolite mineral, has been designated as a human carcinogen by the World Health Organization and is believed to be the cause of extraordinarily high rates of malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos - related diseases in several villages in Central Turkey. A recent study by the University of Hawaii in collaboration with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency in Dunn County, North Dakota has demonstrated similar human exposures to fibrous erionite as those in found in Turkey. The source of these exposures is an erionite - bearing volcanic tuff that has been mined, crushed, and used to gravel hundreds of miles of roads. While elevated rates of mesothelioma are not yet apparent in North Dakota,...
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Everyone needs clean drinking water in order to thrive. The US EPA and public water purveyors in the US work together in adherence with the Safe Drinking Water Act to make water safe for public consumption. The recent media coverage of lead in public drinking water supplies in Flint, Michigan, and schools in many cities with aging infrastructure throughout the US has raised public awareness of drinking water as a potential pathway of exposure to toxic chemicals. Epidemiologists and other researchers have conclusively shown that high arsenic levels in drinking water in Bangladesh, Taiwan, and South America cause adverse human health outcomes. However, research in study populations with levels of arsenic exposure...
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In early May 2018, activity at Kīlauea volcano, Hawaii, increased, with heightened ash production from the summit commencing on May 17. Volcanic ash can scavenge volatile components from volcanic plumes, resulting in the deposition of potentially harmful elements during ash fallout. Leaching of these species (e.g., by rainfall or in water catchment systems) can have implications for agriculture, water resources and human health. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is sampling volcanic ash and utilizing ash leachate analyses as part of the assessment of hazards from the ongoing eruption of Kīlauea Volcano. We acquired 30 ash samples erupted from the summit of Kīlauea Volcano and collected downwind between May 10...
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Management of petroleum-impacted waters by monitored natural attenuation (MNA) requires an understanding of the toxicology of both the original compounds released as well as the transformation products formed during natural breakdown. Here, we report data from a groundwater plume consisting of a mixture of crude oil compounds and transformation products resulting from a crude-oil release in August, 1979 near Bemidji, MN, USA. Water samples were characterized for activation of 52 human nuclear receptor (NR) activities and 50 transcriptional pathways associated with toxic responses. Five replicate analyses were performed for each solution at strengths of 1, 3, and 10 times the sample concentration. Radar plots of...
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Description of Work U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) will identify through this project significant sources and impacts of historical and newly emerging toxics to the Great Lakes ecosystem through broad surveillance as well as laboratory and field research of tree swallows and other bird species. USGS scientists will determine the amount of exposure to and the effects of historical and emerging contaminants in Great Lakes food chains. The data will inform regulators and provide guidance on removal of Beneficial Use Impairments at Area of Concern sites around the Great Lakes. Work supported under this project is quantifying exposure to, and effects of, both historical and emerging contaminants on Great Lakes food chains...
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Description of Work U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are improving the health of the Great Lakes sport and commercial fisheries by documenting sources and the determining the processes that control mercury entering food webs, and helping to evaluate the implications for public health. Our scientists will provide decision-makers with a scientific understanding of mercury-source profiles, the relative importance of the various sources, and the expected environmental responses to Great Lakes wasters and fisheries to altered mercury loading and restoration actions. This information is intended to inform and maximize the benefit of the Great Lakes restoration program. The USGS will develop mercury and methylmercury...
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Description of Work In collaboration with 23 local and state agencies, beach-specific models were developed at 43 beaches throughout the Great Lakes region, and data were collected at 6 more beaches for future predictive model development. A predictive modeling workshop was hosted by USGS with instructors from USGS, USEPA, and Wisconsin DNR and included training on the use of USGS-developed data aggregation tools and USEPA’s Virtual Beach. Relevance & Impact Over 56 beaches across the Great Lakes region, in addition to those currently being monitored, will be included in this effort to help meet goals for healthier beaches. Key Findings Analyses were completed for a suite of pathogens at 12 Great Lakes beaches....


    map background search result map search result map Understanding the Interactions Between Human Health, Environment, and Climate in Salish Sea Communities Enhance Great Lakes beach recreational water quality decision making Mercury Cycling and Bioaccumulation in the Great Lakes AOC Decision Support Birds as Indicators of Contaminant Exposure in the Great Lakes Jeorse Park Beach Contamination Developing and Implementing Predictive Models for Estimating Recreational Water Quality at Great Lakes Beaches in new York State Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations: Implications for Diet and Health North by 2020: perspectives on Alaska's changing social-ecological systems Toxicity Data for Groundwater Contaminated by Petroleum Hydrocarbons near Bemidji, MN (2016) Volcanic ash leachate and rainwater chemistry from increased 2018 activity of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaii Toxicity Data for Groundwater Contaminated by Petroleum Hydrocarbons near Bemidji, MN (2016) Volcanic ash leachate and rainwater chemistry from increased 2018 activity of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaii Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations: Implications for Diet and Health Understanding the Interactions Between Human Health, Environment, and Climate in Salish Sea Communities Jeorse Park Beach Contamination Developing and Implementing Predictive Models for Estimating Recreational Water Quality at Great Lakes Beaches in new York State Enhance Great Lakes beach recreational water quality decision making Mercury Cycling and Bioaccumulation in the Great Lakes AOC Decision Support Birds as Indicators of Contaminant Exposure in the Great Lakes North by 2020: perspectives on Alaska's changing social-ecological systems