P2.41 The Applicability of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing in Identifying Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) sources using NOAA National Status and Trends Mussel Watch Program Data

Friday, 13 November 2009
Patrina L. Bly, Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, NC; and M. A. Edwards

With an ongoing assessment of more than two decades, the Mussel Watch Program is one of the longest running contaminant monitoring programs in the coastal ocean with more than 20 years of data. Mussel Watch uses bivalves (Mussels, Oysters, and Zebra Mussels) as a means to assess water quality. The purpose of the program is geared towards assessing contaminants nationally.

Utilizing formats such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing data assessment, an attempt will be made within this project to identify possible releasers of effluent waste into the major coastal watershed regions pertaining to ongoing research conducted within monitored mussel watch sites. The categorization of possible contaminating locations will be made available through the development of a large dataset. This dataset will utilize those derived from agencies such as the U.S. EPA and other state government databases such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the United States Geological Survey.

Utilizing platforms such as ESRI ArcMap software, spatially reference locations, via point data, vector data, line data, and polygons depicting points and sites of interests will be created using latitude and longitude information. Points and areas of interest will be verified using Remote Sensing imagery. As such, Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) within observable mussel watch sites will be assessed by NOAA's Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA). Using this data, researchers will be able to identify possible sources of contributors to the present contaminant.

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