Baseline Aquatic Contamination and Endocrine Status in Resident Fish Populations of Biscayne National Park and in the Adjacent Coastal Environment

Science Center Objects

As part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, water managers are planning to use treated wastewater from the South District Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) to supplement the canal waters that will be used to rehydrate wetlands adjacent to the Biscayne National Park (Park).

 

Biscayne Bay and Adjacent Residential Area

Biscayne Bay and Adjacent Residential Area

The Science Issue and Relevance: As part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, water managers are planning to use treated wastewater from the South District Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) to supplement the canal waters that will be used to rehydrate wetlands adjacent to the Biscayne National Park (Park). Even though treatment of water entering the WWTP reduces organic wastewater contaminant (OWC) concentrations in the effluent, it may still contain detectable OWC concentrations. Organic wastewater contaminants have been implicated in endocrine disruption reported for fish collected from waters receiving treated wastewater effluents. Such reported incidences have led to concern by the Park that treated wastewater use for rehydration of the coastal wetlands could ultimately enter the Park and adversely impact aquatic biota. As a result, the Park wants to understand the existing threats to its resources from OWCs before the planned rehydration of the wetlands begins. 

Methodology for Addressing the Issue: Background OWC concentrations in Biscayne Bay (Bay) surface waters were determined using passive water samplers while sediment and fish were sampled for determination of more persistent contaminants. During the wet (September) and dry (April) seasons, passive samplers were deployed at the mouths of nine canals that discharge into the Bay, at three different locations within the Bay interior, and at three locations within the coastal wetlands that are the subject of the rehydration plans. Sediment samples were collected at each of those locations during the wet season. Fish samples were collected from each location during the wet season of the project’s second year. Histological analysis of gonadal tissues for a portion of the collected fish was evaluated for evidence of endocrine disruption. Extracts from the passive water samplers were subjected to the Yeast Estrogen Screen (YES) to detect evidence of estrogen-active compounds in the surface waters.

Rainwater Killifish (Lucania parva)

Rainwater Killifish (Lucania parva)

Products:

  1. Baseline aquatic contamination and endocrine status in a resident fish species of Biscayne National Park. 2016. Submitted to Marine Pollution Bulletin.
  2. Baseline Aquatic Contamination of Canal Waters Entering Biscayne National Park and the Potential for Endocrine Disruption in the Resident Biota. 2014. Biscayne National Park Science Symposium. Platform presentation.

 

 

 

 

Deployed Passive Water Sampler

Deployed Passive Water Sampler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Histology Slide of Killifish

Histology Slide of Killifish