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Mussel Watch Contaminant Monitoring


Mussel Watch represents the longest running continuous contaminant monitoring program in U.S. coastal and Great Lakes waters. The project was developed to analyze chemical and biological contaminant trends in sediment and bivalve tissue collected at over 280 coastal sites from 1986 to present. Parameters monitored include sediment and bivalve tissue chemistry for over 100 organic and inorganic contaminants; bivalve histology; and Clostridium perfringens (pathogen) concentrations. This project regularly quantifies PAHs, PCBs, DDTs and its metabolites, TBT and its metabolites, chlorinated pesticides and toxic trace elements.  Please refer to the following website for further information, related publications, and to query and download data generated through this project:


Mussel Watch supports NOAA ecosystem-based management through an integrated program of environmental monitoring, assessment, and research to describe the current status of pollution and to detect changes in the environmental quality of our nation's estuarine and coastal waters. These interrelated activities are designed to provide coastal managers with national context to measures of local and regional environmental condition. Outcomes include a status of contaminant concentrations around the U.S. including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Great Lakes. Monitoring activities are designed to quantify and assess spatial and temporal trends in coastal contamination, and to provide a baseline to assess impacts of anthropogenic and natural events, including chemical spills, tropical storms, and hurricanes.

Time Frame


For More Information

Project Manager:
1305 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3028 x152