Bellingham Bay Marine Sediments Data Summaries, Findings, Publications

Bellingham Bay

The following table contains links to data summaries. (Click on X to open files. Zip files will need to be extracted into another folder. Shaded boxes indicate summaries not yet available.)

Year Sampled Station Locations Physical Chemical Toxicity Benthic Invertebrates Sediment Quality Triad
2010 X X X X X X
2016            
2022            

 

The Bellingham Bay Sediment Quality Triad Index (PDF) offers a one-page summary of these findings.

Puget Sound Marine Sediment Indicators is a webpage that describes the Sediment Quality Triad Index, a method to rate the health of marine sediments.

Recent Findings

All our studies assess sediment quality by evaluating chemistry, toxicity, and benthic (sediment-dwelling) invertebrate community structure. Results are compared with those from similar surveys, conducted with the same methods, to determine changes in sediment quality.

  • Chemical exposure was limited to inner Bellingham Bay.
  • Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate was the only chemical that exceeded the Washington State Quality Standards, indicating potential harm to benthic invertebrates.
  • Toxicity was found throughout the bay.
  • All sites had adversely affected benthos.

Results are rolled up into the Sediment Quality Triad Index, which categorizes sediment quality on a 5-level scale from unimpacted to clearly impacted.  The triad index combines information on measures of exposure (sediment contamination), response (toxicity), and biological effects (benthic invertebrates).

  • No unimpacted sediments were found.
  • One site, near Fairhaven, had clearly impacted sediment quality.

 

Publications

S. Weakland, V. Partridge, M. Dutch, E. Long, and K. Welch. 2013. Sediment Quality in Bellingham Bay, 2010. Washington State Department of Ecology, Olympia, WA. Publication 13-03-034.
Long, E.R., M. Dutch, S. Weakland, B. Chandramouli, and J. Benskin. 2013a. Quantification of pharmaceuticals, personal care products (PPCPs), and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in the marine sediments of Puget Sound (Washington, USA). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 32(8):1701-1710.
Dutch, M., S. Weakland, and B. Chandramouli. 2011. Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products and Perfluorinated Chemicals in Puget Sound Sediments. Poster presentation - 2011 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, October 25-27, 2011, Vancouver, BC. Poster.  Ecology Publication No. 11-03-051.

Quality Assurance Project Plan

Dutch, M., V. Partridge, S. Weakland, K. Welch, and E. Long. 2009. Quality Assurance Project Plan: The Puget Sound Assessment and Monitoring Program Sediment Monitoring Component. Washington State Department of Ecology Publication 09-03-121. 98 pp.
Dutch, M., V. Partridge, S. Weakland, K. Welch, and E. Long. 2010. Quality Assurance Project Plan Addendum 1: The Puget Sound Assessment and Monitoring Program Sediment Monitoring Component. Washington State Department of Ecology Publication 09-03-121 Addendum1. 42 pp.