Sediment toxicity in Savannah Harbor
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Savannah Harbor, located near the mouth of the Savannah River, Georgia and South Carolina, is impacted by industrial and municipal effluents. Potential release of contaminants stored in harbor sediments through dredging and shipping operations requires that contaminated areas be identified for proper management of the system and protection of wildlife resources. During 1991, Hyalella azteca were exposed in 10-d static-renewal toxicity tests to pore-water and solid-phase sediment samples collected from 26 sites within Savannah Harbor. Pore-water toxicity was more pronounced than that for solidphase sediment. Toxicity and reduced leaf consumption demonstrated impaired sediment quality at specific sites within Savannah Harbor and Back River. Factors responsible for the decreased sediment quality were ammonia, alkalinity, and metal concentrations (cadmium, chromium, lead, molybdenum, and nickel). Elevated concentrations of metals and toxicities in Back River sediments indicated impacts from adjacent dredge-spoil areas.
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