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Short Citation:
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, 2023: National Status and Trends: Bioeffects Program - Sabine Lake, Texas Database,

Item Identification

Title: National Status and Trends: Bioeffects Program - Sabine Lake, Texas Database
Short Name: SAL_metadata
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2008-05-01

The toxicity of sediments in Sabine Lake, Texas, and adjoining Intracoastal Waterway canals was determined as part of bioeffects assessment studies managed by NOAA's National Status and Trends Program. The study area encompassed all of Sabine Lake, portions of the Sabine River, portions of the Neches River, portions of the Neches-Sabine Canal at the confluence of the two rivers, portions of Sabine Pass channel entrance, and an area in the Gulf of Mexico near the entrance channel. A stratified-random sampling design similar to those used in previous surveys conducted nationwide by NOAA was applied in Sabine Lake. The study area was subdivided into 22 irregular-shaped strata. Strata established within channels were further subdivided into three substrata to improve spatial coverage. Only one location each was sampled within each substratum, whereas three locations were sampled in each of the larger undivided strata.Surficial sediment samples were collected during August, 1995 from 66 randomly-chosen locations. Laboratory toxicity tests were performed as indicators of potential ecotoxicological effects in sediments. A battery of tests was performed to generate information from different phases (components) of the sediments. Tests were selected to represent a range in toxicological endpoints from acute to chronic sublethal responses. Toxicological tests were conducted to measure: reduced survival of adult amphipods exposed to solid-phase sediments; impaired fertilization success and abnormal morphological development in gametes and embryos, respectively, of sea urchins exposed to pore waters; reduced metabolic activity of a marine bioluminescent bacteria exposed to organic solvent extracts; and induction of a cytochrome P-450 reporter gene system in exposures to solvent extracts of the sediments.Chemical analyses were performed on portions of each sample to quantify the concentrations of trace metals, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, and chlorinated organic compounds. Correlation analyses were conducted to determine the relationships between measures of toxicity and concentrations of potentially toxic substances in the samples.The full report is available online at


Specific objectives of the study were to: (1) the incidence and degree of toxicity of sediments throughout the study area; (2) the spatial patterns (or gradients) in chemical contamination and toxicity, if any, throughout the study area; (3) the spatial extent of chemical contamination and toxicity; (4) the statistical relationships between measures of toxicity and concentrations of chemicals in the sediments. The dataset objective is to report information about chemical residues in sediment, sediment toxicity, and benthic infauna characteristics of the system.



Supplemental Information:

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS Edward Long, NOAA Ocean Service, National Status and Trends Program; Jawed Hameedi, NOAA Ocean Service, National Status and Trends Program; Michelle Harmon, NOAA Ocean Service, National Status and Trends Program; Gail Sloane, Florida Department of Environmental Protection; Scott Carr, US Geological Survey; James Biedenbach, US Geological Survey; Tom Johnson, US Geological Survey; John Scott, Science Applications International Corporation; Cornelia Mueller, Science Applications International Corporation; Jack Anderson, Columbia Analytical Services, Inc.; Terry Wade, Texas A and M University; Bobby Presley, Texas A and M University SAMPLE COLLECTION INVESTIGATORS Michelle Harmon, NOAA Ocean Service, National Status and Trends Program; Edward Long, NOAA Ocean Service, National Status and Trends Program SAMPLE PROCESSING INVESTIGATORS - Contaminant analyses: Organic and inorganic chemicals in sediment: Texas A and M University, Geochemical and Environmental Research Group, College Station, TX SAMPLE PROCESSING INVESTIGATORS - Benthos: Barry A. Vittor and Associates, Inc., 8060 Cottage Hill Road, Mobile, AL 36695 Report: SAMPLE PROCESSING INVESTIGATORS - Toxicity and Bioassays: MicroTox Assay: Tests were run by the US Geological Survey (Columbia Environmental Research Center, Marine Ecotoxicology Research Station, Texas A and M University, Corpus Christi, TX 78412), using extracts prepared by ABC Laboratories, Columbia, MO. Sea Urchin Assay: US Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center, Marine Ecotoxicology Research Station, Texas A and M University, Corpus Christi, TX 78412. Amphipod Assays: Science Applications International Corporation, Narragansett, RI. P450 Human Reporter Gene System: Columbia Analytical Services, Inc., Carlsbad, CA.


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
NOS Data Explorer Topic Category Environmental Monitoring
None amphipod
None analytes
None benthic
None bioassay
None butyltins
None chemical
None contaminants
None date
None estuary
None infauna
None inorganic
None latitude
None location
None longitude
None Microtox
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 organic
None organochlorines
None P450 human reporter gene system
None PAH
None parameter
None PCB
None pesticides
None polychlorinated biphenyls
None polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons
None region
None sea urchin fertilization
None sediment
None Site
None state
None station
None toxicity

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None Gulf of Mexico Coast
None NCCOS Research Location > Geographic Area > Coastal Ocean
None NCCOS Research Location > Region > Gulf of Mexico
None NCCOS Research Location > U.S. States and Territories > Texas
None Sabine Lake
None Texas
None United States

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 relational files each listed below. The "SITES" data file reports information regarding the planned sampling locations and the actual locations. The geographical information provided for a sampling site (the estuary stratum and site) is useful when interpreting the results of other data files. Link for the SITES data The "INDICATOR" data file reports the results of analyses for chemical/microbial analytes, toxicity endpoints, and benthic infauna indices. Link for the INDICATOR data dictionary

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: 456613
Date Effective From: 2008-05-01
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:


CC ID: 456615
Date Effective From: 2008-05-01
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 456616
Date Effective From: 2008-05-01
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:

Point of Contact

CC ID: 456614
Date Effective From: 2008-05-01
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:

Principal Investigator

CC ID: 456617
Date Effective From: 2008-05-01
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Piniak, Greg
Email Address:


Currentness Reference: Ground Condition

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 456620
W° Bound: -94.08783
E° Bound: -93.72916
N° Bound: 30.0917
S° Bound: 29.6167

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 456619
Time Frame Type: Discrete
Start: 1995

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: 456622
Download URL:

Live Data and Maps

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

Distribution 2

CC ID: 456621
Download URL:

Live Data and Maps

File Type (Deprecated): ASCII
Distribution Format: Text (Unstructured)



CC ID: 456612
URL Type:
Online Resource

Activity Log

Activity Log 1

CC ID: 456675
Activity Date/Time: 2016-09-21

Date that the source FGDC record was last modified.

Activity Log 2

CC ID: 456674
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 - Field logistics were conducted aboard the NOAA Ship Ferrell and its launch. Vessel positioning and navigation were aided with a differential-corrected, Global Positioning System (GPS) unit and a compensated LORAN C unit. The two systems generally agreed well when both were operational. Coordinates are expressed in units to the nearest 0.0001 decimal degrees. An acceptable tolerance goal for siting was that the sampling location be established within 0.2nm (+/- 120ft) of the given coordinates. In the event the vessel could not navigate to the site (i.e., too shallow) or the bottom type was not appropriate (i.e., rock or shellfish bed) then the first alternate site was substituted. In the event the first alternate could not be sampled then the second alternate site was sampled. Organic and Inorganic Contaminants - The measurement quality objectives of the Sabine Lake Project specify accuracy and precision requirements of 30% for organic analytes and 15% for inorganic analytes in sediment samples. Water column measurements - Depth was recorded from the vessel's instrumentation to the nearest 0.1 foot.Benthic taxonomy-The minimum acceptable sorting efficiency was 95%. The minimum acceptable taxonomic efficiency was 95%.

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 actual precision is as listed below. Metals, variable ug/g; Butlytins 0.01 ng Sn/g; PAHs 0.1 ng/g; PCBs 0.01 ng/g; Pesticides 0.01 ng/g; DATA QUALITY ASSURANCE PROCEDURES Organic and Inorganic Contaminants - QA procedures include blanks, spiked samples, and standard reference materials with each batch of samples. Any batch failing to meet the specifications presented in Section 9.1 would be reanalyzed or rejected. Benthic taxonomy- At a minimum, 10 percent of all samples were resorted and recounted on a regular basis. Ten percent of samples were randomly selected and re-identified. A voucher collection composed of representative individuals of each species encountered in the project was accumulated and retained.


Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 456607

DATA ACQUISITION/FIELD SAMPLING Sediment sampling procedures are described in the report available for download at DATA PREPARATION AND SAMPLE PROCESSING Fields are arranged as follows: Sample Type; Field Holding; Lab Storage; Max Holding SEDIMENT Organic contaminants; Wet ice (4C); Freezer (-20C); 1 year Inorganic contaminants; Wet ice (4C); Freezer (-20C); 1 year Total organic Carbon; Wet ice (4C); Freezer (-20C); 1 year Grain size; Wet ice; (4C); Refrigerated (4C); 1 year TOXICITY BIOASSAY Whole sediment and porewater bioassays; Wet ice (4C); Refrigerated (4C); 2 weeks Organic extract (P450 and Microtox); Wet ice (4C); Freezer (-20C); 1 year BENTHOS Taxonomy; 10% buffered formalin; Transfer to 70% ethanol; Indefinitely

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

Process Step 2

CC ID: 456608

Chemicals with similar structural properties were summed and reported as "Totals" in addition to their individual measured concentrations. The components of these totals are as follows: Total DDT = sum of concentrations of ortho and para forms of parent and metabolites 2,4'DDE; 4,4'DDE; 2,4'DDD; 4,4'DDD; 2,4'DDT and 4,4'DDT. Total Chlordane = sum of concentrations of four compounds alpha-chlordane, trans-nonachlor, heptachlor, heptachlorepoxide. Total Dieldrin = sum of concentrations of two compounds aldrin and dieldrin. Total Butyl tin = sum of concentrations of parent compound and metabolites monobutyltin, dibutyltin, tributyltin, tetrabutyltin [concentrations are in terms of tin]. Total PCB = the sum of the concentrations of eighteen congeners: PCB8, PCB18, PCB28, PCB44, PCB52, PCB66, PCB101, PCB105, PCB118, PCB128, PCB138, PCB153, PCB170, PCB180, PCB187, PCB195, PCB206, and PCB209. Total low molecular weight (lmw) PAHs = sum of concentrations of twelve 2- and 3-ring PAH compounds: naphthalene, 2-methylnaphthalene, 1-methylnaphthalene, biphenyl, 2,6-dimethylnaphthalene, acenaphthene, acenaphthylene, 1,6,7-trimehtylnaphthalene, fluorine, phenanthrene, 1-methylphenanthrene, and anthracene. Total high molecular weight (hmw) PAHs = sum of concentrations of twelve 4-and more-ring PAH compounds: fluoranthene, pyrene, benz[a]anthracene, chrysene, benzo[b]fluorantene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, benzo[e]pyrene, benzo[a]pyrene, perylene, dibenzathracene, indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, and benzo[ahi]perylene. Total PAH = low molecular weight PAHs plus high molecular weigh PAHs (sum of 24 PAH compound concentrations). Several numerical indices were chosen for analysis and interpretation of the macroinfaunal data. Infaunal abundance is reported as the total number of individuals per station and the total number of individuals per square meter (= density). Taxa richness is reported as the number of taxa represented in a given site location. Taxa diversity, which is often related to the ecological stability and environmental "quality" of the benthos, was estimated by the Shannon-Weiner Index (Shannon and Weaver, 1949). In order to quantify and compare the equitability in the fauna to the taxa diversity for a given area, Pielou's Evenness Index J' (Pielou, 1966) was calculated as J' = H'/lnS, where lnS = H'max, or the maximum possible diversity, when all taxa are represented by the same number of individuals; thus, J' = H' /H' max.

Process Step 3

CC ID: 456609

Project Related References:Pielou, E.C. 1966. The Measurement of Diversity in Different Types of Biological Collections. J. Theoretical Biology 13:131-144.Shannon, L.C. and W. Weaver. 1949. The Mathematical Theory of Communication. Univ. of Illinois Press, Urbana, Ill. 117 p.

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 39077
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:39077
Metadata Record Created By: Tyler Christensen
Metadata Record Created: 2017-04-05 12:50+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