National Status and Trends: Bioeffects Program - Biscayne Bay, Florida (1995-1996) Database

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What does this data set describe?

National Status and Trends: Bioeffects Program - Biscayne Bay, Florida (1995-1996) Database
The toxicity of sediments in Biscayne Bay and many adjoining tributaries was determined as part of a bioeffects assessments program managed by NOAA's National Status and Trends Program. Biscayne Bay was selected by NOAA for this survey because data from the NS&T Mussel Watch Program and data from previous surveys of the bay had shown a potential for toxicity and other adverse biological effects. In addition, no bay-wide information had been generated on the toxicological condition of the bay sediments and several agencies had indicated a need for this type of data and a willingness to assist NOAA in collecting them. The study area was defined as extending from Dumbfoundling Bay at the north end to Little Card Sound at the south end, seaward to the barrier islands or reef, and landward to the shoreline or saltwater control structures. This area was determined to encompass a total of 484 kilometers of the sea floor. During 1995 and 1996, 226 samples were collected from randomly-chosen locations and tested for toxicity and analyzed for chemical concentrations. Data from these tests and analyses are included in the report. Samples for benthic community analyses were collected at one-third of the stations; however, data from those analyses are not included in the report but are available from NOAA's online database <> survey was designed to characterize sediment quality throughout the greater Biscayne Bay area. Surficial sediment samples were collected during 1995 and 1996 from 226 randomly-chosen locations throughout nine major regions. Laboratory toxicity tests were performed as indicators of potential ecotoxicological effects in sediments. A battery of tests was performed to generate information from different phases (components) of the sediments. Tests were selected to represent a range in toxicological endpoints from acute to chronic sublethal responses. Toxicological tests were conducted to measure: reduced survival of adult amphipods exposed to solid-phase sediments; impaired fertilization success and abnormal morphological development in gametes and embryos, respectively, of sea urchins exposed to pore waters; reduced metabolic activity of a marine bioluminescent bacteria exposed to organic solvent extracts; induction of a cytochrome P-450 reporter gene system in exposures to solvent extracts; and reduced reproductive success in marine copepods exposed to solid-phase sediments.The full report is available online at <>
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS Edward R. Long, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Gail M. Sloane, Florida Department of Environmental Protection; Geoffrey I. Scott, Brian Thompson, National Marine Fisheries Service; R. Scott Carr, James Biedenbach, U. S. Geological Survey; Terry L. Wade, Bobby J. Presley, Texas A & M University; K. John Scott, Cornelia Mueller, Science Applications International Corporation; Geri Brecken-Fols, Barbara Albrecht, TRAC Laboratories, Inc.; Jack W. Anderson, Columbia Analytical Services, Inc.; G. Thomas Chandler, University of South Carolina SAMPLE COLLECTION INVESTIGATORSEdward Long, Michelle Harmon, Scott Frew, Heather Boswell, and DonnaTurgeon (NOAA, National Status and Trends Program); Richard Moravic and David Meyer (Florida Department of Environmental Protection); and Ramesh Peter Buch (Dade County Florida Department of Environmental Resources Management)SAMPLE PROCESSING INVESTIGATORS - Chemical analyses of organic and inorganic contaminants in sediment:Texas A & M University, Geochemical and Environmental Research Group, College Station, TXSAMPLE PROCESSING INVESTIGATORS - Benthos:Barry A. Vittor & Associates, Inc., 8060 Cottage Hill Road, Mobile, AL 36695Report: <> PROCESSING INVESTIGATORS - Toxicity and Bioassays:MicroTox Assay: Tests were run by the National Marine Fisheries Service laboratory in Charleston, SC Sea Urchin Assay: US Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center, Marine Ecotoxicology Research Station, Texas A & M University, Corpus Christi, TX 78412.Amphipod Assays: Science Applications International Corporation, Narragansett, RI. and TRAC Laboratories, Inc. in Pensacola, FLP450 Human Reporter Gene System: Columbia Analytical Services, Inc., Carlsbad, CA.Copepod life cycle assay :The University of South Carolina
  1. How should this data set be cited?

    Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA), 20080501, National Status and Trends: Bioeffects Program - Biscayne Bay, Florida (1995-1996) Database: NOAA's Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Silver Spring, MD.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?

    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -80.3758
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -80.1226
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 25.9503
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 25.2906

  3. What does it look like?

  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?

    Beginning_Date: 1995
    Ending_Date: 1996
    Currentness_Reference: ground condition

  5. What is the general form of this data set?

  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?

    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?

    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?

  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?

    The "SITES" data file reports information regarding the planned sampling locations and the actual locations. The geographical information provided for a sampling site (the estuary stratum and site) is useful when interpreting the results of other data files. Link for the SITES data <> "INDICATOR" data file reports the results of analyses for chemical/microbial analytes, toxicity endpoints, and benthic infauna indices. Link for the INDICATOR data dictionary <> BI1_indicator_dict.htm
    Entity_and_Attribute_Detail_Citation: NOAA, National Status and Trends Program

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)

  2. Who also contributed to the data set?

  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA)
    National Status and Trends Program
    1305 East West Highway - N/SCI-1
    Silver Spring, MD 20910

    301-713-3028 (voice)
    301-713-4388 (FAX)

Why was the data set created?

Specific objectives of the study were to: (1) determine the incidence and degree of toxicity of sediments throughout the study area;(2) determine the spatial patterns (or gradients) in chemical contamination and toxicity, ifany, throughout the study area;(3) determine the spatial extent of chemical contamination and toxicity;(4) determine the statistical relationships between measures of toxicity and concentrations of chemical substances in the sediments.The dataset objective is to report information about chemical residues in sediment, sediment toxicity, and benthic infauna characteristics of the system.

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?

  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?

    Date: 1996 (process 1 of 3)
    DATA ACQUISITION/FIELD SAMPLINGSediment sampling procedures are described in the report available for download at <> PREPARATION AND SAMPLE PROCESSINGFields are arranged as follows:Sample Type; Field Holding; Lab Storage; Max HoldingSEDIMENT: Organic contaminants; Wet ice (4C); Freezer (-20C); 1 year;Inorganic contaminants; Wet ice (4C); Freezer (-20C); 1 year;Total organic Carbon; Wet ice (4C); Freezer (-20C); 1 year;Grain size; Wet ice (4C); Refrigerated (4C); 1 year;TOXICITY BIOASSAY:Whole sediment and porewater bioassays; Wet ice (4C); Refrigerated (4C); 2 weeks;Organic extract (P450 & Microtox); Wet ice (4C); Freezer (-20C); 1 year;BENTHOS:Taxonomy; 10% buffered formalin; Transfer to 70% ethanol; Indefinitely;

    Date: Unknown (process 2 of 3)
    Chemicals with similar structural properties were summed and reported as "Totals" in addition to their individual measured concentrations. The components of these totals are as follows:Total DDT = sum of concentrations of ortho and para forms of parent and metabolites 2,4'DDE; 4,4'DDE; 2,4'DDD; 4,4'DDD; 2,4'DDT and 4,4'DDT.Total Chlordane = sum of concentrations of four compounds alpha-chlordane, trans-nonachlor, heptachlor, heptachlorepoxide.Total Dieldrin = sum of concentrations of two compounds aldrin and dieldrin.Total Butyl tin = sum of concentrations of parent compound and metabolites monobutyltin, dibutyltin, tributyltin, tetrabutyltin [concentrations are in terms of tin].Total PCB = the sum of the concentrations of eighteen congeners: PCB8, PCB18, PCB28, PCB44, PCB52, PCB66, PCB101, PCB105, PCB118, PCB128, PCB138, PCB153, PCB170, PCB180, PCB187, PCB195, PCB206, and PCB209.Total low molecular weight (lmw) PAHs = sum of concentrations of twelve 2- and 3-ring PAH compounds: naphthalene, 2-methylnaphthalene, 1-methylnaphthalene, biphenyl, 2,6-dimethylnaphthalene, acenaphthene, acenaphthylene, 1,6,7-trimehtylnaphthalene, fluorine, phenanthrene, 1-methylphenanthrene, and anthracene.Total high molecular weight (hmw) PAHs = sum of concentrations of twelve 4-and more-ring PAH compounds: fluoranthene, pyrene, benz[a]anthracene, chrysene, benzo[b]fluorantene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, benzo[e]pyrene, benzo[a]pyrene, perylene, dibenzathracene, indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, and benzo[ahi]perylene.Total PAH = low molecular weight PAHs plus high molecular weigh PAHs (sum of 24 PAH compound concentrations).Several numerical indices were chosen for analysis and interpretation of the macroinfaunal data. Infaunal abundance is reported as the total number of individuals per station and the total number of individuals per square meter (= density). Taxa richness is reported as the number of taxa represented in a given site location. Taxa diversity, which is often related to the ecological stability and environmental "quality" of the benthos, was estimated by the Shannon-Weiner Index (Shannon and Weaver, 1949).In order to quantify and compare the equitability in the fauna to the taxa diversity for a given area, Pielou's Evenness Index J' (Pielou, 1966) was calculated as J' = H'/lnS, where lnS = H'max, or the maximum possible diversity, when all taxa are represented by the same number of individuals; thus, J' = H' /H' max.

    Date: Unknown (process 3 of 3)
    Project Related References:Pielou, E.C. 1966. The Measurement of Diversity in Different Types of Biological Collections. J. Theoretical Biology 13:131-144.Shannon, L.C. and W. Weaver. 1949. The Mathematical Theory of Communication. Univ. of Illinois Press, Urbana, Ill. 117 p.

  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?

    MESURMENT QUALITY OBJECTIVES: SITE LOCATION - A stratified -random sampling design similar to those used in previous surveys conducted by NOAA's National Status and Trends Program was applied in Biscayne Bay. The study area was subdivided into 74 irregular-shaped strata. Large strata were established in the open waters of the bay where toxicant concentrations were expected to be uniformly low. This approach provided the least intense sampling effort in areas known or suspected to be relatively homogenous in sediment type, benthic communities, and water depth in regions relatively distant from contaminant sources. In contrast, relatively small strata were established in canals and urban harbors nearer suspected sources in which conditions were expected to be heterogeneous or transitional. As a result, sampling effort was more intense in the smaller strata than in the large strata. The large strata were roughly equivalent in size to each other and the small strata were roughly equivalent in size to each other. This approach combines the strengths of a stratified design with the random-probabilistic selection of sampling locations. Data generated within each stratum can be attributed to the dimensions of the stratum. Therefore, these data can be used to estimate the spatial extent of toxicity with a quantifiable degree of confidence (Heimbuch, et al., 1995). Strata boundaries were established to coincide with the dimensions of major basins, bayous, waterways, etc. in which hydrographic, bathymetric and sedimentological conditions were expected to be relatively homogeneous. Within the boundaries of each stratum, all possible latitude/longitude intersections had equal probabilities of being selected as a sampling location. The locations of individual sampling stations within each strata were chosen randomly using GINPRO software developed by NOAA applied to digitized navigation charts. In most cases three samples were collected within each stratum; in a few small strata only one or two stations were sampled. Four samples were collected in two large strata. Usually, four alternate locations were provided for each station in a numbered sequence. The coordinates for each alternate were provided in tables and were plotted on the appropriate navigation chart. In a few cases the coordinates provided were inaccessible by boat; these station locations were rejected and the vessel was moved to the next alternate. In small confined canals, the vessel was occasionally moved out of the center of the channel to avoid collisions with other boat traffic. A total of 226 samples was collected; 105 during March-May, 1995 and 121 during May-July, 1996. Each location was sampled only once. Nine sampling zones were established within the study area to aid in planning field operations. Field logistics were conducted aboard the NOAA Ship Ferrell and its launch. Vessel positioning and navigation were aided with a differential-corrected, Trimble NavGraphic XL Global Positioning System (GPS) unit and a compensated LORAN C unit. Both systems generally agreed well with each other when both were operational. Both were calibrated and their accuracy verified each morning at a known location within the study area. An acceptable tolerance goal for siting was that the sampling location be established within 0.2nm (+/- 120ft) of the given coordinates. In the event the vessel could not navigate to the site (i.e., too shallow) or the bottom type was not appropriate (i.e., rock or shellfish bed) then the first alternate site was substituted. In the event the first alternate could not be sampled then the second alternate site was sampled. ORGANIC AND INORGANIC CONTAMINANTS - The measurement quality objectives of the Sabine Lake Project specify accuracy and precision requirements of 30% for organic analytes and 15% for inorganic analytes in sediment samples. Link to Quality Assurance Project Plan WATE COLUMN MEASUREMENTS - Depth was recorded from the vessel's instrumentation to the nearest 0.1 foot.BENTHIC TAXONOMY - The minimum acceptable sorting efficiency was 95%. The minimum acceptable taxonomic efficiency was 95%.

  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?

  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?

  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?

    Data are believed to be complete

  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?

    All chemical contaminant values have been rounded to three significant digits. To accommodate the wide range of values, all concentration values have been formatted to the thousandth unit (0.001). The actual precision is as listed below. Metals, variable ug/g; Butlytins 0.01 ng Sn/g; PAHs 0.1 ng/g; PCBs 0.01 ng/g; Pesticides 0.01 ng/g; DATA QUALITY ASSURANCE PROCEDURES Organic and Inorganic Contaminants - QA procedures include blanks, spiked samples, and standard reference materials with each batch of samples. Any batch failing to meet the specifications presented in Section 9.1 would be reanalyzed or rejected. Benthic taxonomy - At a minimum, 10 percent of all samples were resorted and recounted on a regular basis. Ten percent of samples were randomly selected and re-identified. A voucher collection composed of representative individuals of each species encountered in the project was accumulated and retained.

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?

Access_Constraints: None
NOAA requests that all individuals who download NOAA data acknowledge the source of these data in any reports, papers, or presentations. If you publish these data, please include a statement similar to: "Some or all of the data described in this article were produced by the "NOAA's Ocean Service through its National Status and Trends Program (NS&T)"

  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA)
    National Status and Trends Program
    1305 East West Highway - N/SCI-1
    Silver Spring, MD 20910

    301-713-3028 (voice)
    301-713-4388 (FAX)

  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set?

    Downloadable Data

  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?

    These data were prepared by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, make any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed in this report, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference therein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. Any views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof. Although all data have been used by NOAA, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by NOAA as to the accuracy of the data and/or related materials. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by NOAA in the use of these data or related materials.

  4. How can I download or order the data?

Who wrote the metadata?

Last modified: 24-Jan-2017
Last Reviewed: 20-May-2010
Metadata author:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA)
National Status and Trends Program
1305 East West Highway - N/SCI-1
Silver Spring, MD 20910

301-713-3028 (voice)
301-713-4388 (FAX)

Metadata standard:
Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

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