Due to a lapse in appropriations, the majority of USGS websites may not be up to date and may not reflect current conditions. Websites displaying real-time data, such as Earthquake and Water and information needed for public health and safety will be updated with limited support. Additionally, USGS will not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.  For more information, please see www.doi.gov/shutdown

Pollution in Aquatic Ecosystems

Science Center Objects

USGS scientists quantify and describe functional relationships among aquatic species and habitats to characterize aquatic community structure, function, adaptation, and sustainability.

Learn more about our research by visiting the web pages below.


Method development for conducting effluent test with mussels and evaluation of potassium toxicity to mussels in the East Texas and East Oklahoma Emphasis Area

Science Center: Columbia Environmental Research Center

Nearly 70% of the 300 mussel species in North America are endangered, threatened, of special concern, or extinct. Studies have indicated that freshwater mussels may be more sensitive to some chemicals, such as ammonia, metals (such as copper and nickel), and major ions (such as chloride, sulfate, and potassium), compared to commonly tested organisms used to derive USEPA ambient water quality criteria.


PBDEs in Fish Downstream of Urban Areas in the Desert Southwest - Field Study

Science Center: Columbia Environmental Research Center

Wastewater effluents contain numerous synthetic organic compounds including flame retardants such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), legacy industrial chemicals and pesticides, fragrances/musks, triclosan, personal care products, plasticizers, as well as pharmaceuticals. Many of these chemicals have the potential to affect endocrine function in fish and other wildlife.


⇒ Return to Aquatic Ecosystem Conservation