Jennifer Lanksbury DFW:
Mussels are natural environmental samplers or indicators. Mussels are ideal to sample Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons PAHs from they unlike other shellfish mussels have no liver function and can contain chemicals for up to two months. PAHs are molecules found in oil and coal or fossil fuels. Department of fish and wildlife worked with the National Mussel Watch to compare data gathered from the Puget sound and other water sheds.
DFW did a pilot study ranging the Straight of Georgia to the South Puget Sound. Using mussels to evaluate near shore contamination. Transplanted mussels were used instead of natural mussels to increase repeatability and decrease variability. PAH is one contaminate that is of concern.
PAH are shown to increase with impervious surfaces. The over all findings of the study show outliers in the PAH data indicating that impervious surface may not be the only near shore factor to consider.
PAH fingerprinting can be used to evaluate near shore contamination.