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Resetting the bar: Establishing baselines for persistent contaminants after Hurricane Sandy in the coastal environments of New Jersey and New York, USA

June 22, 2016

In the immediate aftermath of natural disasters, public health officials and other first responders engage in many activities to protect the public and ecosystems in the affected area. These activities include critical tasks designed to minimize adverse consequences resulting from chemical and microbial contaminant exposures, such as acute disease incidence and transmission. However, once these urgent priorities have been met and situations requiring immediate attention have been stabilized, questions regarding the potential longer term threats to humans and ecosystems associated with persistent contaminant exposures remain. Research conducted to address these questions is frequently challenged by the lack of available baseline contaminant information collected before the event for comparison and perspective. In addition, deployments of field crews and collection of environmental samples typically occur days, weeks, or months after the event. Consequently, during and in the aftermath of disasters, public health agencies commonly advise the public to disinfect water, avoid contact with disturbed infrastructure (such as sewer lines), and (or) refrain from use of recreational waters, with the general focus on acute health threats; however, the persisting effects of such releases on local recreational waters, fisheries, and other estuarine habitats are often undetermined.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Resetting the bar: Establishing baselines for persistent contaminants after Hurricane Sandy in the coastal environments of New Jersey and New York, USA
DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.05.045
Authors Timothy J. Reilly, Michael J. Focazio, Dale L. Simmons
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Marine Pollution Bulletin
Series Number
Index ID 70171118
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New Jersey Water Science Center

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