Pollution and Waste Disposal Workshop
A workshop was held on May 4-5 to review C&MP's activities addressing
Pollution and Waste Disposal and to recommend future directions.
Research addressing the transport and fate of contaminated sediments
has been conducted by C&MP investigators for many years and has been
a major component of the National Plan since 1994. Geology for a Changing
World (Bohlen and others, 1998), which outlines a science strategy for
the Geologic Division, recognized contamination of the environment as
an issue of growing importance in the next decade.
The workshop was held at the WHFC and was co-hosted by Brad Butman
(Eastern Region) and Homa Lee (Western Region). The thirty participants
included C&MP staff and management, as well as representatives from
other USGS Divisions (WRD and BRD), Federal Agencies (EPA and NOAA),
State agencies (Massachusetts Water Resources Authority), and the
private sector (Science Applications International Corporation and
the New England Aquarium).
The first day included a series of
presentations reviewing work carried out as part of the Program over
the last five years, summarizing current agency programs, identifying
opportunities for collaboration, and outlining new directions. The
second day included a series of discussions addressing: (1) major
results and characteristics of the past program, (2) scientific
questions and the USGS role in pollution studies, (3) new directions,
(4) impact and products, (5) staffing, (6) facilities and equipment,
and (7) collaboration.
Some of the major findings from recent C&MP pollution studies include:
C&MP pollution projects have provided a new and unique, regional,
multi-disciplinary framework used by scientists and managers.
Contaminants are widespread around metropolitan centers (higher
concentrations and more widely distributed than previously thought).
Contaminants are pervasive and long-term.
Basic physical processes, modified locally by topography, forcing,
and source, control transport and fate of contaminants. The regional
studies carried out by the C&MP have documented a variety of
transport processes and sedimentary regimes.
High-resolution mapping (sidescan sonar, multibeam sonar, and
high-resolution geophysics) and sampling allow assessment of
contaminant inventories and long-term impact on scales from a few
meters to kilometers.
Three-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling, coupled with the regional
geologic mapping and process studies, provides a predictive capability
for the fate of contaminated sediments in the coastal ocean.
Projects have developed an extensive baseline of contaminant levels
in sediments that can be used to document long-term change and climate
Some of the Workshop recommendations include:
Increase scientific synthesis, both at the project and the national level.
Increase impact of studies through development and distribution of
Continue regional, multidisciplinary studies, including follow-up
studies to 5-year projects.
Expand development of coupled hydrodynamic and sediment transport
models and apply them to selected regional studies.
Develop and maintain national contaminated-sediment databases.
Continue and increase collaboration and coordination within the C&MP.
Continue and increase collaboration and program development with
other agencies and institutions.
A workshop report, including complete recommendations for future
directions, will be completed by the end of FY '99.
in this issue:
Navassa Island Field Trip
Cruise News: R/V Gilbert
Montessori Academy Volunteer
Students Visit Woods Hole
Conserving Our Coast
Women's Advisory Committee
Long Island Coring
Pollution & Waste Disposal
New St. Pete Chief Scientist
Woods Hole: Multi-Agency Center
NYC Estuary System Tour
Gas Hydrates Bill Testimony
June Publications List