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Tag: Contaminated sediments
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  • Identification and Preventative Treatment of Overwintering Cyanobacteria in Sediments: A Literature Review

    Abstract: Freshwaters can experience growths of toxin-producing cyanobacteria or harmful algal blooms (HABs). HAB-producing cyanobacteria can develop akinetes, which are thick-enveloped quiescent cells akin to seeds in vascular plants or quiescent colonies that overwinter in sediment. Overwintering cells produce viable “seed beds” for HAB resurgences and preventative treatments may diminish HAB intensity. The purpose of this literature review was to identify (1) environmental factors triggering germination and growth of overwintering cells, (2) sampling, identification, and enumeration methods, and (3) feasibility of preventative algaecide treatments. Conditions triggering akinete germination (light ≥0.5 µmol m-2s-1, temperature 22-27℃) differ from conditions triggering overwintering Microcystis growth (temperature 15-30℃, nutrients, mixing). Corers or dredges are used to collect surficial (0-2 cm) sediment layers containing overwintering cells. Identification and enumeration via microscopy are aided by dilution, sieving, or density separation of sediment. Grow-out studies simulate environmental conditions triggering cell growth and provide evidence of overwintering cell viability. Lines of evidence supporting algaecide efficacy for preventative treatments include (1) field studies demonstrating scalability and efficacy of algaecides against benthic algae, (2) data suggesting similar sensitivities of overwintering and planktonic Microcystis cells to a peroxide algaecide, and (3) a mesocosm study demonstrating a decrease in HAB severity following preventative treatments. This review informs data needs, monitoring techniques, and potential efficacy of algaecides for preventative treatments of overwintering cells.
  • Aligning research and monitoring priorities for benthic cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins : a workshop summary

    Abstract: In 2018, the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center partnered with the US Army Corps of Engineers–Buffalo District, the US Environmental Protection Agency, Bowling Green State University, and the Cawthron Institute to host a workshop focused on benthic and sediment-associated cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins, particularly in the context of harmful algal blooms (HAB). Technical sessions on the ecology of benthic cyanobacteria in lakes and rivers; monitoring of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins; detection of benthic and sediment-bound cyanotoxins; and the fate, transport, and health risks of cyanobacteria and their associated toxins were presented. Research summaries included the buoyancy and dispersal of benthic freshwater cyanobacteria mats, the fate and quantification of cyanotoxins in lake sediments, and spatial and temporal variation of toxins in streams. In addition, summaries of remote sensing methods, omic techniques, and field sampling techniques were presented. Critical research gaps identified from this workshop include (1) ecology of benthic cyanobacteria, (2) identity, fate, transport, and risk of cyanotoxins produced by benthic cyanobacteria, (3) standardized sampling and analysis protocols, and (4) increased technical cooperation between government, academia, industry, nonprofit organizations, and other stakeholders. Conclusions from this workshop can inform monitoring and management efforts for benthic cyanobacteria and their associated toxins.
  • Spatial Distribution and Thickness of Fine-Grained Sediment along the United States Portion of the Upper Niagara River, New York

    Abstract: Over 220 linear miles of geophysical data, including sidescan sonar and chirp sub-bottom profiles, were collected in 2016 and 2017 by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the upper Niagara River. In addition, 36 sediment grab samples were collected to groundtruth the geophysical data. These data were used to map the spatial distribution of fine-grained sediment, including volume data in certain locations, along the shallow shorelines of the upper Niagara River. Overall, the most extensive deposits were spatially associated with either small tributaries or with man-made structures that modified the natural flow of the system. Extensive beds of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) were also mapped. Although always associated with a fine-grained matrix, the SAV beds were patchy in distribution, which might reflect subtle differences in the grain size of the sediment matrix or could simply be a function of variations in species or growth. The maps generated from this effort can be used to guide sampling plans for future studies of contamination in fine-grained sediment regions.
  • Environmental Applications of 3D Printing Polymer Composites for Dredging Operations

    Abstract: This Dredging Operations Environmental Research (DOER) technical note disseminates novel methods to monitor and reduce contaminant mobility and bioavailability in water, sediments, and soils. These method advancements are enabled by additive manufacturing (i.e., three-dimensional [3D] printing) to deploy and retrieve materials that adsorb contaminants that are traditionally applied as unbound powders. Examples of sorbents added as amendments for remediation of contaminated sediments include activated carbon, biochar, biopolymers, zeolite, and sand caps. Figure 1 provides examples of sorbent and photocatalytic particles successfully compounded and 3D printed using polylactic acid as a binder. Additional adsorptive materials may be applicable and photocatalytic materials (Friedmann et al. 2019) may be applied to degrade contaminants of concern into less hazardous forms. This technical note further describes opportunities for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) project managers and the water and sediment resource management community to apply 3D printing of polymers containing adsorptive filler materials as a prototyping tool and as an on-site, on-demand manufacturing capability to remediate and monitor contaminants in the environment. This research was funded by DOER project 19-13, titled “3D Printed Design for Remediation and Monitoring of Dredged Material.”
  • Long-Term Stability and Efficacy of Historic Activated Carbon (AC) Deployments at Diverse Freshwater and Marine Remediation Sites

    Abstract: A number of sites around the United States have used activated carbon (AC) amendments to remedy contaminated sediments. Variation in site-specific characteristics likely influences the long-term fate and efficacy of AC treatment. The long-term effectiveness of an AC amendment to sediment is largely unknown, as the field performance has not been monitored for more than three years. As a consequence, the focus of this research effort was to evaluate AC’s long-term (6–10 yr) performance. These assessments were performed at two pilot-scale demonstration sites, Grasse River, Massena, New York and Canal Creek, Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Aberdeen, Maryland, representing two distinct physical environments. Sediment core samples were collected after 6 and 10 years of remedy implementation at APG and Grasse River, respectively. Core samples were collected and sectioned to determine the current vertical distribution and persistence of AC in the field. The concentration profile of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in sediment pore water with depth was measured using passive sampling. Sediment samples from the untreated and AC-treated zones were also assessed for bioaccumulation in benthic organisms. The data collected enabled comparison of AC distribution, PCB concentrations, and bioaccumulation measured over the short- and long-term (months to years).