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Title: Long-term impact of dredged material disposal in Lake Erie off Ashtabula, Ohio
Authors: Roy F. Weston, Inc.
Dredging Operations Technical Support Program (U.S.)
Salamon, Kenneth J.
Keywords: Environmental impact analysis
Environmental effects
Dredged material
Dredging spoil
Waste disposal site
Aquatic ecology
Marine pollution
Aquatic pollution
Water quality
Lake Erie
Ashtabula Harbor
Publisher: Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Description: Technical Report
Abstract: Material dredged from Ashtabula Harbor and River in 1975 and 1976 was placed at three Lake Erie disposal sites. The disposal operations were studied during the Dredged Material Research Program, 1973-1978. This report discusses animal, sediment, and water samples obtained from the three disposal sites and two nearby reference areas in 1979. Sediment characteristics, benthic animals, and mercury and cadmium levels were studied. Disposal sites contained more gravel and sand than the reference sites which were predominantly silt (≈58 percent) and clay (≈33 percent). Disposal areas contained approximately 26 percent sand compared to 9 percent for the reference areas. It appears that some additional disposal of sand and gravel occurred at the disposal areas between 1976 and 1979. A number of large (macrofauna) and small (meiofauna) benthic animals were found at both disposal and reference areas. In general, more macrofaunal animals and a greater variety of species were found at the reference areas. One reference area was found to contain more meiofaunal animals compared to the three disposal areas; however, the other reference site contained the lowest number of meiofauna of all the sites. Statistically significant differences were found only among the macrofauna and only for the mean number of taxa between the reference and disposal areas. The reference areas were higher. Sediment analyses showed the reference or control areas contained higher levels of mercury (0.9 μg/g) compared to the disposal areas (0.7 μg/g). For cadmium, the opposite was true. There were higher cadmium levels at the disposal areas. The differences were not statistically significant. Very few tissue analyses were completed; results indicated animals at the reference areas contained higher levels of mercury and cadmium compared to disposal area animals. Data obtained in 1979 are discussed in relation to the earlier studies conducted in 1975 and 1976.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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