Alaska Monitoring and Assessment Program 2010-2012 Chukchi Sea Survey

AKMAP is partnering with the University Of Alaska Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and NOAA's National Status and Trends Bioeffects Program with funding from Coastal Impact Assistance Program to complete a survey of the near shore Chukchi Sea. This survey's goal is to assess the water quality and ecological status of waters of the northeastern Chukchi Sea from Pt. Hope to Barrow in waters 1050 m in depth within the Beaufort/Chukchi coastal-shelf ecosystem.

We sampled 74 stations over three years. The following activities occurred at most stations: CTD/WQ; plankton tow; drop camera; van Veen grab for sediment chemistry & macroinvertebrates; beam and otter trawls; biological-contaminant samples; and sediment and biological isotope samples collections. Also, surveys were conducted for marine birds and mammals during transit between stations.

The AKMAP assessment estimated the spatial extent of water quality based on stressors such as contaminants, water parameters (pH, temperatures, salinity, and dissolved oxygen), and upper trophic level taxa such as benthic fishes, marine birds, and mammals. Environmental managers utilize this information to support the protection and restoration of coastal marine environments, mitigate damage to marine ecosystem, and implement discharge-monitoring requirements in National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits. Findings are anticipated to be available by late 2014.

This project is primarily funded with qualified outer continental shelf oil and gas revenues by the Coastal Impact Assistance Program, Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. The views and conclusions reported are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government