Chapter

Pollution: Persistent Organic Contaminants and Trace Metals

Hyun-Min Hwang, Peter G. Green and Thomas M. Young

in Ecology, Conservation, and Restoration of Tidal Marshes

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780520274297
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780520954014 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520274297.003.0004
Pollution: Persistent Organic Contaminants and Trace Metals

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More than 80 percent of San Francisco Bay's historic tidal marshes have disappeared due to human activities, and the remaining marshes have been fragmented and contaminated. High levels of contaminants have contributed to the degradation of their habitat quality. After the implementation of management actions and the restriction on the use of toxic chemicals, a significant decrease in contaminant loading occurred, and marsh-habitat quality is being improved slowly. However, levels of contaminants in some tidal marshes are still high enough to threaten the well-being of aquatic life and wildlife. This review summarizes the geographical distribution and temporal trends of contaminants, especially mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, and organochlorine pesticides, which are the most serious concerns for public health and environmental degradation in the San Francisco Bay.

Keywords: San Francisco Bay estuary; tidal salt marsh; organic contaminants; trace metals; mercury; PCBs; OC pesticides; geographical distribution; temporal trends

Chapter.  7494 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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