Assessing the extent and scope of contaminant impacts and mitigation strategies for deep ocean dumping sites in Southern California

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UC San Diego
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Preface. Scientists at the University of California Santa Barbara have been investigating deep ocean dumping of DDT waste for the past decade. Support from this award will be used to expand on this research topic by supporting additional studies that will act to increase capacity around this issue, strengthen institutional collaborations around this issue, as well as providing needed information about the offshore dumping associated with the location northwest of Catalina Island known as Dumpsite 1. Spatial mapping and analysis of samples from this area will further inform the contamination present and the potential of the sediment microbiome to decompose DDT and related compounds.

Specific work objectives include:

SOW#1: UC Santa Barbara personnel will perform research toward the mapping and chemical characterization of DDX contamination in offshore sediments of the California Bight, focusing on a newly discovered area of contamination that lies North of Catalina Island and South of Dumpsite 1. Archived samples will be analyzed for DDX and other chemical parameters as appropriate, and additional samples will be analyzed as they are collected or otherwise become available. Approaches being considered for this effort include targeted and non-targeted analysis of DDT+ analytes as well as other compounds of interest.

SOW#2: UC Santa Barbara personnel will collaborate with Scripps personnel to achieve common goals that include genomic analysis of sediment microbial communities toward informing biodegradation, and analysis of benthic biota for DDX bioaccumulation. UC Santa Barbara personnel will contribute to this effort in the study design and planning phase, as well as during sample collection and analysis, as appropriate. Archived samples are available for select analyses.