The Niagara River was designated as an Area of Concern in 1987 on both the United States and Canadian sides of the international boundary line because past industrial discharges and hazardous waste sites had caused extensive degradation of aquatic habitats. The degradation of the “benthos”, or the benthic macroinvertebrate community, was identified as one of seven beneficial use impairments caused by contaminated bed sediments. The U.S. Geological Survey and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, conducted a study in 2014 and 2015 to gather more extensive data on (a) the toxicity of bed sediments and (b) the status of macroinvertebrate communities on the main stem and tributaries of the Niagara River. This report addresses the first component of that study (toxicity of bed sediments), and summarizes results from laboratory toxicity tests that compare the survival and growth of two macroinvertebrate species between bed sediments from study sites and laboratory controls. Sediment toxicity was negligible at most sites, however poor performance of one or both test species in bed sediments from several tributary sites suggests that the quality of sediments may be adversely affecting benthic macroinvertebrate communities in some tributaries to the Niagara River.
|Title||Toxicity of bed sediments from the Niagara River Area of Concern and tributaries, New York, to Chironomus dilutus and Hyalella azteca, 2014-15|
|Authors||Scott D. George, Barry P. Baldigo, Brian T. Duffy|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Data Series|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||New York Water Science Center|