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Short Citation:
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, 2023: National Status and Trends: Bioeffects Program - Magnitude and Extent of Sediment Toxicity in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary,

Item Identification

Title: National Status and Trends: Bioeffects Program - Magnitude and Extent of Sediment Toxicity in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary
Short Name: HRE_metadata
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2007-10

A survey of the toxicity of sediments was performed by NOAA's National Status and Trends (NSandT) Program throughout the Hudson-Raritan Estuary. The objectives of the survey were to determine the spatial patterns of toxicity, the spatial scales (magnitude) of toxicity, the severity (frequency) of toxicity, and the relationships among measures of toxicity and chemical substances in the sediments. This survey was conducted as a part of a nationwide program supported by NOAA's Coastal Ocean Program and the NSandT Program, in which the biological effects of toxicants are determined in selected estuaries and bays. The survey was conducted in two phases: 117 samples were collected throughout the entire estuary during 1991 (Phase 1) and an additional 57 samples were collected in Newark Bay and vicinity during 1993 (Phase 2). Relatively sensitive toxicity tests were performed under controlled laboratory conditions with portions of each sample. During Phase 1, three independent tests were performed: (1) a 10-day, acute survival test of solid-phase sediments with the amphipod Ampelisca abdita; (2) a 48-hour liquid phase test of elutriates with the embryos of the bivalve Mulinia lateralis in which both percent survival and normal embryological development were recorded; and (3) a 15-minute microbial bioluminescence test (Microtoxtm) of organic solvent extracts. Only the amphipod tests were performed on the samples collected during Phase 2. Chemical analyses of selected samples were performed and the concentrations of trace elements, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), chlorinated pesticides and other hydrocarbons were reported. Also, during Phase 2 the concentrations of numerous chlorinated dioxins and furans were determined.


Specific objectives of the study were to: (1) Determine the presence and severity of toxic responses; (2) Estimate the spatial extent of toxicity; (3) Identify spatial patterns of toxicity in each system; (4) Characterize the relationships between toxicity and the concentrations of potential toxicants in the sediments. The dataset objective is to report information about chemical residues in sediment and sediment toxicity characteristics of the system.



Other Citation Details:

Magnitude and Extent of Sediment Toxicity in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS ORCA 88. August 1995. Silver Spring, Maryland.

Supplemental Information:

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS Ed Long (retired), NOAA Ocean Service, National Status and Trends Program SAMPLE COLLECTION INVESTIGATORS Ed Long (retired), NOAA Ocean Service, National Status and Trends Program SAMPLE PROCESSING FACILITIES - Organic and inorganic chemicals in sediment: (1) Phase 1 (1991) - Battelle Ocean Sciences, Duxbury, Massachusetts (2) Phase 2 (1993) - USGS, Columbia Environmental Research Center, Columbia, Missouri (formally known as the Midwest Science Center) SAMPLE PROCESSING FACILITIES - Toxicity assays:(1) Microtox Assay - Edmundo Casillas, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service;(2) Amphipod Survival Assay - Science Applications International Corporation, Narragansett, RI;(3) Amphipod Survival Assay - Aqua Survey, Inc.;(4) Bivalve larvae survival and development (Mulinia lateralis) - Edmundo Casillas, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Peter Landrum (NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory) conducted toxicity tests with Diporeia spp. Edmundo Casillas (NMFS) provided data from tests of growth impairment and microbial bioluminescence.


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
NOS Data Explorer Topic Category Environmental Monitoring
None amphipod
None analytes
None bioassay
None butyltins
None chemical
None contaminants
None date
None estuary
None inorganic
None latitude
None location
None longitude
None Microtox
None national status and trends
None NCCOS Research Data Type > Field Observation
None NCCOS Research Priority > Long-term Monitoring
None NCCOS Research Priority > Stressors, Impacts, Mitigation, and Restoration (SIMR)
None NCCOS Research Topic > Bioeffects/Toxicity
None NCCOS Research Topic > Chemical Contaminants
None NCCOS Research Topic > Monitoring
None nsandt
None organic
None organochlorines
None PAH
None parameter
None PCB
None pesticides
None polychlorinated biphenyls
None polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons
None region
None sediment
None Site
None state
None station
None toxicity

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None Hudson-Raritan Estuary
None NCCOS Research Location > Geographic Area > Coastal Ocean
None NCCOS Research Location > Region > East Coast
None NCCOS Research Location > U.S. States and Territories > New Jersey
None NCCOS Research Location > U.S. States and Territories > New York
None New Jersey
None New York
None Northeast Region

Physical Location

Organization: National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
City: Silver Spring
State/Province: MD

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: None Planned
Entity Attribute Overview:

The dataset is composed of two relational files listed below. The "SITES" data file reports the location coordinates. The geographical information provided for a sampling site (the estuary stratum and site) is useful when interpreting the results of other data files. The "INDICATOR" data file reports parameter results for chemical and toxicity assays. For a description of the parameters see report

Entity Attribute Detail Citation:

NOAA - National Status and Trends Program

Distribution Liability:

These data were prepared by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, make any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed in this report, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference therein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. Any views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof. Although all data have been used by NOAA, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by NOAA as to the accuracy of the data and/or related materials. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by NOAA in the use of these data or related materials.

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 440849
Date Effective From: 2007-10
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:


CC ID: 440851
Date Effective From: 2007-10
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 440852
Date Effective From: 2007-10
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:

Point of Contact

CC ID: 440850
Date Effective From: 2007-10
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:

Principal Investigator

CC ID: 440853
Date Effective From: 2007-10
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Piniak, Greg
Email Address:


Currentness Reference: Ground Condition

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 440856
W° Bound: -73.98944
E° Bound: -72.00805
N° Bound: 41.55972
S° Bound: 40.35027

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 440855
Time Frame Type: Range
Start: 1991
End: 1993

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Access Constraints:


Data Use Constraints:

NOAA requests that all individuals who download NOAA data acknowledge the source of these data in any reports, papers, or presentations. If you publish these data, please include a statement similar to: "Some or all of the data described in this article were produced by the NOAA's Ocean Service through its National Status and Trends Program (NSandT)"

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 440858
Download URL:

Live Data and Maps

File Type (Deprecated): XML
Distribution Format: XML (Structured Text)

Distribution 2

CC ID: 440857
Download URL:

Live Data and Maps

File Type (Deprecated): XML
Distribution Format: XML (Structured Text)



CC ID: 440847
URL Type:
Online Resource

Activity Log

Activity Log 1

CC ID: 440907
Activity Date/Time: 2016-11-16

Date that the source FGDC record was last modified.

Activity Log 2

CC ID: 440906
Activity Date/Time: 2017-04-05

Converted from Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (version FGDC-STD-001-1998) using '' script. Contact Tyler Christensen (NOS) for details.

Data Quality


MEASUREMENT QUALITY OBJECTIVESSite location - The center of each site was located with LORAN-C and Global Positioning System units. At each site, a buoy was dropped at the coordinates provided by NOAA. Then, the vessel was moved approximately 100 m. away from the buoy for each of the three stations sampled at the site. The location of each station was determined with Loran and GPS, along with radar ranges and hand-held compass bearings. Generally the stations at each site were equidistant from the site center and about 250 m. apart from each other. In most cases the stations formed a triangle around the site center, but, where conditions dictated otherwise, the stations were arranged in a straight line. Organic and Inorganic Contaminants - The suite of organic and inorganic chemicals measured in the sediment samples were those routinely measured by the NSandT Program, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), DDT and its metabolites, chlorinated pesticides other than DDT, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and 16 trace and heavy metals (Robertson et al. 1993). Procedures for analysis of organic chemicals are outlined in MacLeod et al. (1985), Battelle Ocean Sciences (1991), and Lauenstein and Cantillo (1993) available online at:

Completeness Report:

Data are believed to be complete

Conceptual Consistency:

All chemical contaminant values have been rounded to three significant digits. To accommodate the wide range of values, all concentration values have been formatted to the thousandth unit (0.001). The method detection limits (MDLs) within compound classes are listed in appendix B of the report


Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 440845

To ensure that samples were collected throughout the entire estuary, the study area was stratified into 13 contiguous regions designated as zones. These zones were established following review of available bathymetric, physiographic and sedimentological information to represent conditions within major components of the study area. Three sites were sampled within each zone to provide information on environmental variability. Most sites were chosen based upon reviews of data from previous sedimentological and chemical analyses (e.g., City of New York, 1987). Where no historical data were available, the sites were selected based upon bathymetric and sedimentological information published on applicable navigation charts. The coordinates for the center of each site are available in the report. Similar to the method used in NOAA's Mussel Watch Program (NOAA, 1987), three stations were sampled and tested independently within each site. Sediments from a total of 39 sites and 117 stations were sampled and tested.Sediment sampling procedures are described in the report, which can be found at: Data preparation and sampling processing procedures are described in the report, which can be found at: Descriptions of data manipulations can be found in the report at:

Process Date/Time: 1995-01-01 00:00:00

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 38757
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:38757
Metadata Record Created By: Tyler Christensen
Metadata Record Created: 2017-04-05 12:48+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-10-17 16:12+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2017-04-17
Owner Org: NCCOS
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2017-04-17
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2018-04-17