Project SummaryIn a 2001-2002 cooperative study with the National Park Service (NPS) and Biscayne National Park (BNP), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and University of South Florida (USF) assessed environmental quality in Biscayne Bay to provide pre- Everglades restoration baseline data and decision products to facilitate restoration and/ or preservation of ecosystems within the bay. The study was based on components of surface sediments. The data was used to construct contour maps of grain size, heavy-metal distribution and concentration, foram assemblages diagnostic of pristine to heavily polluted waters, and dominant types of skeletal sand grains.
In general, overall results of the study along the western bay margin indicate that the highest concentrations of heavy metals are found off densely urbanized areas, that most abnormalities in foram shells are found off the Black Point landfill, and that nearshore ecosystems within the bay are under stress. The stress is probably due both to natural (rising sea level) and anthropogenic (increasing pollution) causes.
For for information about this research, see Chemical Pollutants and Toxic Effects on Benthic Organisms, Biscayne Bay: A Pilot Study Preceding Florida Everglades Restoration - USGS Open File Report 02-308.
For more information, contact Barbara Lidz at the U.S. Geological Survey.