Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Estuarine bed-sediment-quality data collected in New Jersey and New York after Hurricane Sandy, 2013

February 16, 2015

This report describes a reconnaissance study of estuarine bed-sediment quality conducted June–October 2013 in New Jersey and New York after Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 to assess the extent of contamination and the potential long-term human and ecological impacts of the storm. The study, funded through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (PL 113-2), was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. In addition to presenting the bed-sediment-quality data, the report describes the study design, documents the methods of sample collection and analysis, and discusses the steps taken to assure the quality of the data.

Bed-sediment samples were collected from June to October 2013 from 167 estuarine sites extending from Cape May, New Jersey, to the New York Harbor and the eastern end of Long Island. Each sampling location and study region was characterized by using geographic information to identify potential contaminant sources. Characterizations included land cover, locations and types of businesses (industrial, financial, and others), spills (sewage, chemical, and others), bulk storage facilities, effluent discharges within 2 kilometers of the sampling point, and discharges within inundated and non-inundated regions near the sampling location. Samples were analyzed for particle size, total organic carbon, metals and trace elements, semivolatile organic compounds, wastewater compounds, hormones, and sediment toxicity. Samples were also screened using x-ray fluorescence, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and x-ray diffraction. In addition, bioassays for endocrine disruptors and protein phosphatase 2A inhibition were conducted. The study was designed to provide the data needed to understand the extent and sources of contamination resulting from Hurricane Sandy, to compare the chemistry and toxicity of estuarine bed sediments before and after the storm, and to evaluate the usefulness of rapid screening and bioassay approaches in disaster settings.

Publication Year 2015
Title Estuarine bed-sediment-quality data collected in New Jersey and New York after Hurricane Sandy, 2013
DOI 10.3133/ds905
Authors Jeffrey M. Fischer, Patrick J. Phillips, Timothy J. Reilly, Michael J. Focazio, Keith A. Loftin, William Benzel, Daniel Jones, Kelly L. Smalling, Shawn C. Fisher, Irene J. Fisher, Luke R. Iwanowicz, Kristin M. Romanok, Darkus E. Jenkins, Luke Bowers, Adam Boehlke, William T. Foreman, Anna C. Deetz, Lisa G. Carper, Thomas E. Imbrigiotta, Justin E. Birdwell
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Data Series
Series Number 905
Index ID ds905
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New Jersey Water Science Center