Alaska Monitoring and Assessment Program 2009 Kachemak Bay

DEC partnered with NOAA National Status and Trends to investigate abnormally high concentrations of chromium and nickel found in sediments collected at Chrome Bay during the 2002 Southcentral Coastal Survey. That project's final report recommended a targeted survey in Chrome Bay of chromium and nickel levels in sediment, macroinvertebrates, and fish tissue. Sampling in August of 2009 focused on the extent and range of trace metals in Chrome Bay and collected samples at other locations in lower Kachemak Bay for comparison.

A baseline environmental characterization of the inner Kachemak Bay, Alaska was conducted using the sediment quality triad approach based on sediment chemistry, sediment toxicity, and benthic invertebrate community structure. Concentrations of over 120 organic and metallic contaminants were analyzed. Ambient toxicity was assessed using two amphipod bioassays. A detailed benthic community condition assessment was performed. Habitat parameters (depth, salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, sediment grain size, and organic carbon content) that influence species and contaminant distribution were also measured at each sampling site.