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An Assessment of Chemical Contaminants Detected in Passive Water Samplers Deployed in the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER)

Author(s): Pait,A.S., I. Hartwell1, A.L. Mason, F.R. Galdo Jr., R.A. Warner, C.F.G. Jeffrey, A.M. Hoffman, D.A. Apeti, and S.J. Pittman, A.M. Hoffman, and F.R. Galdo, Jr.

NCCOS Center: CCMA (

Center Team: COAST

Name of Publisher: NOAA

Place of Publication: Silver Spring, MD

Publication Type: NOAA Technical Memoranda

Date of Publication: 2013

Reference Information: NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 157

Extent of Work: 26 pp.

Abstract: This report is the second in a series from a project to assess land-based sources of pollution (LBSP) and effects in the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER) in St. Thomas, USVI, and is the result of a collaborative effort between NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the USVI Department of Planning and Natural Resources, the University of the Virgin Islands, and The Nature Conservancy. Passive water samplers (POCIS) were deployed in the STEER in February 2012. Developed by the US Geological Survey (USGS) as a tool to detect the presence of water soluble contaminants in the environment, POCIS samplers were deployed in the STEER at five locations. In addition to the February 2012 deployment, the results from an earlier POCIS deployment in May 2010 in Turpentine Gut, a perennial freshwater stream which drains to the STEER, are also reported. A total of 26 stormwater contaminants were detected at least once during the February 2012 deployment in the STEER. Detections were high enough to estimate ambient water concentrations for nine contaminants using USGS sampling rate values. From the May 2010 deployment in Turpentine Gut, 31 stormwater contaminants were detected, and ambient water concentrations could be estimated for 17 compounds. Ambient water concentrations were estimated for a number of contaminants including the detergent/surfactant metabolite 4-tert-octylphenol, phthalate ester plasticizers DEHP and DEP, bromoform, personal care products including menthol, indole, n,n-diethyltoluamide (DEET), along with the animal/plant sterol cholesterol, and the plant sterol beta-sitosterol. Only DEHP appeared to have exceeded a water quality guideline for the protection of aquatic organisms.

Availability: Online.

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