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4 Monitoring and Research in The Southern California Bight The relationship between research and monitoring activities in the Southern California Bight is complex, making it difficult to arbitrarily and consistently distinguish between the two. In this report, monitoring generally refers to repeated measurements taken to comply with specific regulations: research refers to measurement and experimental programs undertaken to answer more open ended questions. In the panel's view, monitoring and research are complementary activities that support each other and that both provide important information needed for resource management. Often the same agency will fund and/or direct both monitor- ing and research. Monitoring results have stimulated research programs, and research results have provided information that has been helpful in re- ducing impacts and refining monitoring requirements. In addition, research activities are often an integral part of monitoring programs in the bight. Although this chapter reviews research and monitoring programs sep- arately, it is important to remember the significant links and interactions between the To activities. These links exist because both monitoring and research are concerned with measuring and understanding processes of marine environmental change. In general, monitoring in the bight is focused on four broad areas of concern: 1. the effects of effluent from municipal sewage treatment plants; 2. the effects of effluent from other sources, such as power plants refineries, and nonpoint sources; 54
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ss 3. the status of resources such as fisheries and kelp beds; and 4. effects on public health from water contact sports. Although these are useful organizing principles, in reality specific programs overlap the boundaries between them. Monitoring related to each of these four concerns is complemented by active research programs. The main characteristic of research and monitoring activities in the bight is their broad diversity. Federal, state, and local agencies, along with universities and private industry, are active members of the research and monitoring community. This diversity stimulates innovation and careful evaluation of research and monitoring results, but it also makes coordina- tion and integration of monitoring more difficult. THE MONITORING SECTOR lithe four monitoring areas described above reflect the existing regu- lato~y environment (Chapter 3), with each kind of monitoring responding to a different set of laws, regulations, permits, and limitations. (A com- prehensive review of past and present monitoring programs can be found in SCCWRP, 1988.) Effluent discharge and monitoring are controlled by National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, which can contain effluent limitations (pertaining to the effluent) and water qual- ity objectives (pertaining to the receiving waters). In California, these are determined by EPA, based on provisions of the Clean Water Act, as amended (CWA), and by the regional water quality control board issuing the permit, based on the California ocean and thermal plans (State Water Resources Control Board, 1975, 1987~. Effluent limitations are specific nu- merical standards; water quality objectives include both numerical (liable B of the California ocean plan) and narrative standards (such as degradation of the environment). The numerical effluent limitations are a combination of federal and California ocean plan (State Water Resources Control Board, 1987) reg- ulatory requirements and are based primarily on consideration of current available technology (the technically or financially most feasible level of contaminant removal attainable). Effluent limitations may be stated as maximum acceptable concentrations of a constituent in the effluent or as the maximum allowable mass emission per day. For thermal effluents, for example, the maximum allowable difference in temperature between the effluent plume and the receiving waters at 1,000 It from the outfall or diffuser is 4°C (California thermal plan iState Water Resources Control Board, 19753~. Compliance with such effluent limitations is determined directly by analysis of effluent at specified intervals. The water quality objectives are also determined according to federal laws and regulations and California ocean plan requirements (State Water
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56 Resources Control Board, 1987~. They are numeric or narrative expressions of the maximum allowable changes in various environmental parameters that will not result in serious or long-term damage to the affected marine ecosystem. Numeric objectives define allowable concentrations of waste constituents after allowing for mixing within the zone of initial dilution (ZID), the region within a specified horizontal distance from the end of an outfall or any point along a discharge diffuser. The horizontal distance is usually equal to the water depth at the discharge. In contrast to establishing numeric objectives, demonstrating compliance with the narrative water quality objectives can be difficult. It is based on periodic monitoring of environmental conditions in the vicinity of the effluent discharge, and criteria used to measure compliance with these narrative objectives are often subjective and inferential. In contrast to tom stem of effluent monitoring, resource monitoring is structured around compilation of commercial and sport catch statistics and studies of the status of particular stocks. Routine health effects monitoring measures concentrations of bacterial indicators (e.g., coliforms) along beaches to determine whether to close sections of the coast to body contact sports. The following sections describe monitoring activities related to the major sources of effluent and habitat change in the bight. Municipal Discharges There are 16 municipal wastewater dischargers operating under NPDES permits in the bight (Table 4-1~. Of these, only the discharges in Goleta, Orange County, and Encina have received waivers under Sec- tion 301(h) of the Clean Water Act, as amended. Encina voluntarily relinquished its waiver in 1988. The largest of the 16 discharges are oper- ated by the city of Los Angeles (Hyperion), the County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County (White Point), the County Sanitation Districts of Orange County, and the city of San Diego (Point Loma) (Southern Califor- nia Coastal Water Research Project iSCCWRP], 1987~. (Detailed histories of the regulatory actions and monitoring programs at each of these four large discharges can be found in SCCWRP, 1988.) In general, monitoring evolved from measurements of fecal contamination in the nearshore zone to more comprehensive assessments of environmental conditions over a broader area. Ibble 4-1 summarizes the required monitoring programs at each mu- nicipal discharge in the bight. The wide variety in monitoring requirements among these discharges reflects differences in the size of each discharge, the levels of contaminants present, and the nature of the nearby marine environment (e.g., presence of kelp beds or other valued resources). In
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57 addition, permits were granted at different times, and their requirements reflect improvements in knowledge about the environment and changes in regulatory emphasis. Differences among monitoring programs also stem from the diverse orientations of the four regional water quality control boards that administer NPDES permits in the bight. These are the Central Coast, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and San Diego regional boards. Boards dif- fer in their staffing, level of experience, and responsiveness to local issues. As described in Chapter 3, the regional boards are relatively autonomous. The current monitoring programs at two large municipal discharges, along with their historical contexts and existing permit conditions, are described in detail below. This will illustrate how monitoring has developed, as well as the relationship among regulatory requirements, public concerns, monitoring programs, and management decisions based on monitoring data. County Sanitation Districts of Orange County The County Sanitation Districts of Orange County (CSDOC) currently provide service to more than 2 million people in 23 of the county's 26 cities (CSDOC, 1987; SCCWRP, 1988~. Leo treatment plants, one at Fountain Valley and the other at Huntington Beach, process about 255 million gal/day of waste water. About 80 percent of the flow is from residential and commercial users, and 20 percent from industry. The effluent, consisting of about 40 percent primary treated and 60 percent secondary treated waste water, is discharged through an outfall 5 mi from shore in 200 It of water on Huntington Beach. The discharge at Orange County was initiated in the 1920s with screened effluent disposed of a short distance into the surf near the mouth of the Santa Ana River. In 1949, bacterial monitoring along the beach within 5 mi of the discharge was instituted at the request of the state health department. In the mid 1950s, expanded treatment facilities and a new outfall that discharged approximately 1 mi offshore were constructed. As a consequence, the monitoring program was expanded in 1960 to include offshore sampling of both the water column and sediments. In the late 1960s, sampling at additional nearshore stations was begun, and bacterial monitoring at shoreline stations was increased to 5 days per weeL In 1971, effluent was diverted from the old outfall 1 mi from shore to a new outfall 5 mi from shore. At this time, the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board designed a monitoring program to study the effects of the change. Additional parameters and stations were added to the existing monitoring program. The following year, monitoring of fish populations began with the addition of trawl sampling to the program. The 1974 NPDES permit for the discharge increased the nearshore bacterial monitoring effort and required additional stations and parameters
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60 in the onshore monitoring program. In particular, metals, phenols, biolog- ical oxygen demand (BOD), pesticides, and PCBs were to be measured in offshore sediments. In the late 1970s, this program was amended to reduce sampling for benthic biota to twice yearly instead of quarterly. In 1978, the districts began operating an activated sludge facility at the first of their two treatment plants, and in 1983 at the second. These facilities improved the quality of the wastewater discharge. In 1985, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted the CS- DOC a 301(h) variance for a five-year waiver from the complete secondary treatment requirements of the CWN An expanded monitoring program was required as a condition of the NPDES permit issued jointly by the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board and EPA Region IX Amble 4-2~. EPA will use the monitoring data to assess whether the 301(h) permit should be renewed upon expiration, while the regional board will use them to determine compliance with the 1983 California ocean plan (State Water Resources Control Board, 1983~. EPA must conduct a public hearing to consider any major changes to the permit conditions. If there is major opposition to such changes, they may not be allowed. Regional board action is also required for any substantive modification of the permit conditions. As described above, the NPDES permit contains effluent limitations and water quality objectives. It also contains specific provisions and time tables for meeting the limitations of the permit and submitting various reports. lithe overall objectives of this 301(h) monitoring program, as specified by EPA (1987) and 40 CFR 125.62, are to: · determine compliance with NPDES permit terms and conditions; · document short- and long-term effects of the discharge on receiving waters, sediment, biota, and on beneficial uses of the receiving water; and · assess the effectiveness of tomes control programs that limit dis- charge of toxic chemicals to the receiving waters. Ib accomplish these objectives, the permit (No. CA0110604) specifies several kinds of monitoring (Table 4-2) and their objectives (Table 4-3~. City of Los Angeles The city of Los Angeles' Hyperion treatment plant in Playa del Rey, with a design capacity of 420 million gaVday, is the largest sewage treatment plant discharging treated waste water to the bight (SCCWRP, 1988; John Dorsey, Hyperion Treatment Plant, personal communication). Planning is currently under way to double its capacity. The flow averages approximately 75 percent primary treated and 25 percent secondary treated waste water. Pleated wastes are discharged to Santa Monica Bay through an outfall
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61 TABLE 4-2 Summary of the 301O Water Quality Monitoring Program Performed by the County Sanitation Districts of Orange County - Number of stations Replicates/ Program element and frequency station Parameters measured Beach colifonns 17 daily Water quality 9 monthly; 17 quarterly Trawls (demersal 8 semiannually 2 communities) Benthic grabs 13 quarterly; 40 annually Bioacc~nulation ir~fauna 6 annually fish 5 annually epifauna 5 annually Total coliforms (MPN/100 ml) 1 each Temperature, salinity, light trans- every 3 (or 6) m mission, total suspended solids, to bottom ammonia, coliforms, water color, dissolved oxygen, pH Fish/epifauna taxonomy, health, length/weight of 30 species Quarterly-in- Fauna retained on 1 mrn screen, fauna, 3 chem- grain size, oil, cyanide, sulfide, istry; annually volatile solids, metals, extracta 1 infauna, 1 ble organics, pesticides, PCBs, chemistry volatile organics, total organic carbon 5 g tissue total Metals, synthetic organics, pesticides 20~60 specimens Metals, synthetic organics, pesticides 5~58 specimens Metals, synthetic organics, pesticides Fish histo- 8 semiannually 60 specimens Liver histopathology, visual for pathology tumors and lesions Sport fishing 4 semiannually As many as Metals, synthetic organics, pesii survey - possible cides; liver histopathology, visual for tumors and lesions terminating about S mi from shore in about 187 ft of water. Until Novem- ber 1987, digested sludge and secondary effluent in a ratio of 1 to 3 were discharged through an outfall terminating nearly 7 mi offshore at the head of Santa Monica submarine canyon in about 300 It of water. Periodically, during unusually high flows or in emergencies, chlorinated secondary efflu- ent may be discharged through an outfall that terminates 1 mi from shore in 50 It of water. The city of Los Angeles began discharging raw sewage into Santa Monica Bay at Hyperion in 1894, and constructed a central outfall sewer in 1908. At the time, the area was relatively remote and there was minimal awareness about potential health hazards associated with the discharge of raw sewage. The State Department of Health began receiving complaints about fouled beaches in the vicinity of the discharge by 1912. As a result, an outfall was constructed in 1924 to carry screened effluent 1 mi onshore. However, a break in the outfall pipe 500 ft from shore, a growing urban population, and the need to bypass the screen during storm flows led to
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62 TABLE 4-3 Objectives Specified in the NPDES Permit for the 301O Monitonng Program Performed by the County Sanitation Districts of Orange County. Program element Objectives Beach and surf zone Water column Trawls (demersal communizes) Benthic grabs Bioaccumulation (mussels, infauna, fish, epifauna) Fish histopathology Sport fishing survey Assess bacteriological conditions in areas used for water contact sports and shellfish harvest. Determine effectiveness of treatment to remove floatables that affect health and aesthetics. Determine compliance with water quality objectives. Provide data to support inte~pretaiior~ of biology data. Assess presence of balanced indigenous populations of demersal fish and benthic invertebrates. Assess presence of balanced indigenous population of benthic invertebrates. Evaluate physical and chemical quality of the sediments. Determine accumulation of toxic pollutants. Assess prevalence of lesions, tumors, and liver abnormalities in local fish. Monitor uptake of pollutants in fish consumed by humans in order to detennine impact on public health. Assess impacts on local fish populations. repeated recontamination of Santa Monica Bay beaches. This caused the Department of Public Health to close beaches near Hyperion in Santa Monica Bay from 1946 to 1951 due to bacterial and grease contamination. These continued problems with bacterial and aesthetic contamination led to legal action that resulted in construction of a larger outfall and a secondary treatment system in 1950 (Gerber and Wada, 1988~. Heated effluent and about 50 percent of the sludge were discharged to the bay, and reduced levels of contamination allowed the beaches to be reopened in 1951. By 1952, growing public concern about contamination of Santa Monica Bay prompted comprehensive investigations by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Southern California's (USC) Allan Hancock Foundation. The studies' objectives were to determine the bay's physical and biological conditions, sources and magnitude of pollution, and optimal design and location for deep-water outfalls. Based on data showing that bacterial contamination never traveled more than 5 mi along the beach in either direction from the outfall, a 5 ml-long effluent outfall was built
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63 in 1959. Prior to that, a 7 ml-long outfall had been built in 1957 to carry sludge to the head of Santa Monica Canyon. Monitoring began coincident with the closure of public beaches in 1946, when routine daily surf and water column monitoring for coliforms was initiated by the Department of Public Health. This program was later incorporated into the monitoring mandated by the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and in 1956 was expanded to include additional water column and shoreline stations throughout the bay. This was the first such marine monitoring program in Southern California. Hyperion's monitoring program was significantly enlarged in 1974, with the issuance of the plant's NPDES permit by the EPA and the state and regional water quality control boards. This permit required monitoring of infauna, some sediment chemistry, and water column bacteria. In 1980, the city signed a consent decree to cease sludge discharge to the ocean by February 15, 1986 (later extended to December 31, 1987~. In 1982, the city of Los Angeles applied for a 301(h) waiver from the requirements to convert to secondary treatment, which EPA initially approved. The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board did not concur, and a waiver was not issued. However, in 1984 monitoring requirements under the existing NPDES permit were increased with the addition of trawling and replication at several benthic stations both within and outside the ZID of the 5-ml outfall. Hyperion received a new NPDES permit in 1987 that included a greatly expanded and modified monitoring program (Bible 4-4~. The overall objectives of the Hyperion monitoring program differ somewhat from those of the Orange County program, partly because Hy- perion is not operating under a 301(h) waiver. The overall objectives of this NPDES monitoring program are to: determine compliance with NPDES permit terms and conditions; and determine that state water quality standards are met (40 CFR 122.41[il and 12.48tbi. As in Orange County's permit, subsidiary objectives are specified that generally parallel those described in Able 4-3. However, Hyper- ion's NPDES permit (No. CA0109991) contains one important difference. It incorporates language stating that the monitoring program may be mod- iSed based on information generated by the program. This is an important source of flexibility that is discussed in greater depth in Chapter 6. Specif- ically, the permit states: Once an adequate background database is established and predictable relation ships among the biological, water quality, and effluent monitoring variables are demonstrated, it may be appropriate to revise the monitoring program. Revisions may be made under the direction of the EPA and the Regional Board at any time during the permit term, and may indude a reduction or increase in the
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64 TABLE 4-4 Monitoring Program for Hyperion (1987) Monitoring program Parameters Frequency Shoreline water Total and fecal coliforms, enterococcus, Daily quality (17 stations)- temperature, visual observations Nearshore water Total and fecal coliforms, enterococcus, Weekly quality (11 stations) temperature, DO, transmissivity profiles, visual observations Above parameters plus suspended solids, Monthly oil and grease Offshore water Profiles for DO, temperature, salinity, pH, Weekly quality (25 stations) visual observations Microlayer (12 Profiles for transmissivity and trans- Monthly stations) patency; discrete samples for ammonia nitrogen, suspended solids, TOC, oil and grease Sediment chemistry Three replicate samples for oil and grease 3 times per year (39 stations) and TOC (subset of 7 stations) TOC, IS, oil and grease, grain size, 122 Annually priority pollutants (one sample) Sediment biology Three replicate samples for above Quarterly (39 stations) sediment parameters (subset of 7 stations) Macrofaunal community analysis (one Semiannually sample) Quarterly Demersal fish and Five replicates for macrofaunal community Quarterly macroinvertebrates analysis (trawling) (6 stations) Duplicate trawls for community analysis Semiannually Contaminants in Three replicates for priority pollutants in Semiannually sport fish (rig- tissues of hon~yhead turbot and fishing) (2 sites) ridgebacked prawn Three replicate samples for priority pollutants in muscle of selected sport fish DO = dissolved oxygen; TOC = total organic carbon (amble 4-4)
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86 cost about $3.3 million per year, while public health monitoring by the separate counties costs about $310,000 per year. Of the total annual monitoring expenses of over $17 million in the Southern California Bight, nearly 80 percent are borne by the public sector. Much of the remainder is spent by the California Department of Fish and Game for marine resource monitoring. Summary of Monitoring Activities The review of monitoring activities in the Southern California Bight highlighted several important features that will be treated in more detail in the analysis of monitoring (Chapter 6~. For the most part, monitoring is performed in response to permit requirements that regulate discharge activities. There are many agencies, federal, state, and local, involved in establishing standards and regulations under which these permits are administered. Despite the many agencies and programs, there is no overall coordination of monitoring in the bight. There is, however, cooperation among agencies that jointly regulate specific discharges such as the Hyperion outfall. Individual monitoring programs are carefully carried out using state-of- the-art methods, and the quality of the resulting data is typically very high. Finally, liable 4-7 reveals that, with the exception of the recently ended Marine Review Committee program at San Onofre, the bulk of monitor- ing funds are devoted to measuring the effects of municipal wastewater discharge. THE RESEARCH SECTOR A great deal of research is performed in the bight by federal, state, and local agencies, and by universities and private industry. Some of this research is oriented specifically toward environmental problems (such as the effects of municipal wastewater outfalls) that are also addressed by monitoring programs. Other research is oriented toward more general issues in oceanography and marine ecology. Research results can benefit monitoring programs by: . increasing understanding of the marine environment and thereby enhancing the ability to predict, measure, and assess human impacts; · identifying physical, chemical, or biological changes that are bet- ter indicators of pollution impacts than the parameters currently used in monitoring programs; · providing information on the character and variability of natural processes in the marine environment that can be used as references against which to compare changes due lo human activity;
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87 · establishing a link or correlation between a parameter measured in a monitoring program and an adverse outcome of concern to society (e.g., link between fecal coliforms and disease); · determining whether measurements made in monitoring programs provide meaningful assessments of the health of ~e marine environment and the nature of human impacts on it; and · developing new techniques and instrumentation for use in moni- toring programs. The research sector is even more diverse than the monitoring sector, with a wide variety of programs that span the range from large-scale studies carried out by multidisciplinary research groups to narrowly focused studies performed by individual scientists. The following sections describe repre- sentative research activities sponsored by federal, state, and local agencies, universities, and private industry. This is not meant to be an exhaustive listing of programs and certainly does not come close to describing all the research carried out in the bight. Federal Agencies Marine research in the bight is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Minerals Man- agement SeIvice (MMS), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The NSF funds individual investigators as well as research programs and institutes at universities throughout the bight. This research is described more completely in the section below on university research. NOAA funds several important programs in the bight. The National Status and [lends Program was described above as part of the monitoring sector. In addition, NOAA funds the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Sea Grant College Program. NMFS performs studies of the biology of commercially important fish species and of the relationships between stocks of these species and the physical and chemical oceanography of the bight. Such studies in- clude investigations of habitat requirements, reproduction, feeding biology, population dynamics, geographic distribution, and response to contami- nants. NMFS is also an active participant in the CalCOFI program, which combines monitoring and research focused on commercial fisheries (see Historical Monitoring and the CalCOFI Program above). Because of its long history, archived samples from the CalCOFI program have proven valuable in studies of trends of contaminants such as DDT.
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88 NOAA also funds the Sea Grant College Program, which is adminis- tered through the University of California. The federal Sea Grant legisla- tion requires that at least one-third of the total federal funds received by each program be matched with local (nonfederal) funds. Since 1973, the state of California has made successive five-year commitments to provide up to two-thirds of the required matching funds (University of California, 1989~. Sea Grant studies have addressed a wide variety of coastal prob- lems, including, at present, the functioning of wetlands, physical processes in the coastal zone, aquaculture, marine products chemistry, and ocean · . engineering. The U.S. EPA funds research targeted at specific environmental prob- lems. This research is not extensive compared to that carried out by other agencies, since EPAs regional activities are predominantly enforcement re- lated. As an example of such targeted research, EPA supported a study in 1980 to investigate fish catch and consumption among population subgroups in the Los Angeles area. The study was designed to furnish information useful in formulating local regulatory approaches, and was motivated by awareness that certain parts of the local population consume larger than average amounts of locally caught seafood containing elevated concentra- tions of DDT and PCBs (Puffer et al., 1982, 1983; Puffer and Gossett, 1983; Gossett et al., 1983~. In addition, research carried out at the various EPA research laboratories is often relevant to environmental issues in the Southern California Bight. The Pacific Outer Continental Shelf Region of the MMS funds an Environmental Studies Program (established in 1973) designed to provide basic information needed to make management decisions about the outer continental shelf (F. Piltz, personal communication; Piltz, 1990; MMS, 1990~. Although most of this region lies outside the boundary of the bight, some portions of these studies are carried out inside it. Southern California region studies have investigated air quality, potential toxicity of oil to seabirds and marine mammals, adaptation of marine organisms to chronic exposure to petroleum hydrocarbons, and the effects of geophysical acoustic survey operations on important commercial fisheries. In addition, MMS has carried out large-scale reconnaissance of benthic hard- and soft-bottom communities and assessments of long-term changes in benthic communities in oil and gas development areas. Some MMS studies (e.g., Fauchald and Jones, 1978) are notable for their wide geographic coverage and commitment to long-term data collection. The Ecological Research Division of DOE is sponsoring three regional studies in the bight. One of these, the California Basin Study (CaBS), be- gun in 1985, is a multidisciplinary effort to examine and understand the production, transport, and ultimate fate of biogenic Articulates and the energy-related products (e.g., radionuclides) associated with them. One of
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89 the major goals of CaBS is to develop a carbon budget for the Southern Cal- ifornia Bight that incorporates the contributions of bacteria, phytoplankton, and zooplankton. The U.S. FWS Biological Services Program has performed an ecolog- ical inventory of the entire Pacific coast, including the bight. The FWS has published several reports on critical habitats within the bight, including kelp forests and coastal marshes, and has developed a series of profiles of environmental requirements for coastal fishes and invertebrates. State Agencies Marine research in the bight is sponsored by the California Depart- ment of Fish and Game, the Water Resources Control Board, and the Department of Health Services. In addition, state funds contribute to the support of the Sea Grant College Program. The Marine Resources Branch of the Department of Fish and Game conducts research designed to protect and enhance specific fished re- sources. The department has studied the effectiveness of artificial reefs in enhancing fish stocks and evaluated various methods for rehabilitating kelp beds. In addition, the department participates in funding the CalCOFI program, which investigates the biology of commercial fisheries. The State Water Resources Control Board funds research specifically related to identifying environmental problems and developing water and sediment quality criteria and regulatory standards. For example, the board has supported a survey of PAH levels throughout the bight, followed by lab- oratory studies of PAH uptake and toxicity. The board has also requested studies of sediment transport and alternative methods of establishing sedi- ment quality criteria. The California Department of Health Services has examined levels of chemical contamination in fish caught in Santa Monica Bay and Ins Angeles and Long Beach harbors. The results of this investigation will be useful to EPA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in revising action limits for some highly nonpolar organic contaminants, such as DDT and PCBs. These are of special concern because of their high potential for bioaccumulation and toxicity. Local Agencies The single largest and most focused body of research on pollution problems in the bight is that performed by the municipal and regional sani- tation agencies and the research organization they jointly fund, the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP). In addition, local
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go public health departments conduct research into the health effects of ma- rine contamination and the regional water quality control boards carry out occasional studies targeted at the development of regulatory criteria. The four major sanitation agencies in the bight all maintain active marine research programs that are beyond the activities mandated by their discharge permits. These four agencies are Los Angeles City, the County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, the County Sanitation Districts of Orange County, and San Diego City. These agencies typically fund research on questions that are relevant to the management of their discharges and the understanding or mitigation of environmental impacts. They consider this research necessary to answer questions that are not addressed by mandated monitoring programs. Research has included both field and modeling studies of sediment transport and plume behavior, as well as investigations of nutrient dynamics in the water column, sediment toxicity, benthic community structure, and kelp bed ecology. In conjunction with SCCWRP, Los Angeles City is currently conducting an experimental study of the rate and character of ecological recovery around the city's sludge outfall, which suspended discharge operations in November 1987. In addition to these active research programs, all discharge agencies in the Southern California Bight belong to the Southern California Association of Marine Invertebrate Taxonomists (SCAMIT). This organization works to ensure that all studies use a consistent, standardized, and up-to-date species list of marine invertebrates. This list has proved invaluable in regional analyses, which otherwise would have been impossible to perform. Discharge agencies also are active members of the Southern California Environmental Chemists Society (SCECS), which performs an analogous function for environmental chemistry. SCCWRP was founded in 1969 with the aim of conducting both basic and applied marine research relevant to the discharge of municipal wastew- ater to the bight. At present, SCCWRP is supported by a yearly allocation from the seven major municipal dischargers in the bight, and to a lesser extent by contract funds from state and federal agencies. SCCWRP in- vestigates generic problems of interest to all the dischargers, develops and refines new methods, and performs regional analyses that are beyond the scope of individual dischargers. SCCWRP's work has resulted in important additions to knowledge about the marine environment and improvements to monitoring practice. For instance, SCCWRP researchers have evaluated alternative methods for sampling benthic communities and developed the Infaunal Atrophic Index for characterizing the degree of change in benthic communities. They have also investigated histopathological and biochem- ical indicators of pollutant stress in marine species, documented pollution induced changes in reproduction of key fish species, and monitored re- gional trends in the incidence of effects such as fin rot and tumors on
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91 fish. SCCWRP has performed a vital function because of its ability to collect and integrate data from all the municipal dischargers in the bight. As a result, SCCWRP has been able to complete significant analyses of bightwide patterns and trends in contamination and environmental change. The periodic SCCWRP Report series is available to the public on request. Counter health departments and municipal governments in the bight have carried out periodic research studies to assess the likelihood of specific health effects from environmental contamination. For example, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services has carried out lifeguard surveys in response to inquiries about the health of lifeguards.) These studies were stimulated in part by the finding that seven lifeguards in the Los Angeles area had developed cancer. The department is currently planning an additional epidemiological study of lifeguards that will focus on short-term health outcomes. Lifeguards were chosen as a sentinel group for monitoring possible adverse health outcomes due to marine pollution because they are more heavily and consistently exposed than the general public to contaminants in the ocean. The department is also investigating the relationship between consumption of ocean fish and concentrations of DDT, DDE, and PCBs in the milk of lactating mothers.2 Another example of research performed by local agencies is the city of San Diego's study to assess health risks from the municipal wastewater discharge at Point 1In 1982, following notification that seven lifeguards in the Los Angeles area had developed cancer, Dr. Thomas Mack of the University of Southern California Cancer Surveillance Program undertook a study of cancer prevalence in Los Angeles County. He concluded that, although the number of cancer cases was higher than predicted, the elevation was not statistically significant. Neither was there evidence of a causal link between work as a lifeguard near Santa Monica beach and the subsequent appearance of cancer. In addition to these studies, investigations by the Department of Health Services have shown that industrial health claims demonstrate no dear pattern of illness in relation to where the lifeguards work. Prevalence of hepatitis A serology among lifeguards does not differ from control populations. 2Previous mammal studies showed that PCBs and DDT adversely affect neonatal development at doses that might be encountered by a small percentage of people eating contaminated fish from the bight (Allen and Barsotti, 1976~. To address this concern, the Department of Health Services has selected approximately 50 post-partum breast-feeding women, predominantly from lower socioeconomic groups, as subjects in a study of the relationship between consumption of ocean fish and concentrations of DDT, DDE, and PCBs in breast milk. Preliminary results indicate that PCB concentrations (measured on a fat basis) are typically between 0.1 and 0.3 ppm. There are no values over 0.9 ppm. DDT is present in breast milk at concentrations from 1 to 5 ppm, with a few values over 10 ppm as measured on a lipid basis. It appears that the major source of PCBs in these women is the consumption of fishery products from the bight. However, there is an association between prior residence in Mexico or Central America and elevated (5 ppm or higher) concentrations of DDE in breast milk. All concentrations measured to date are well below the FDA action limits for whole milk (on a whole milk basis).
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92 Loma to recreational divers who use the Point Loma kelp bed or consume seafood caught there.3 The regional water quality control boards, which act independently of the state board, occasionally support research targeted at specific local problems. As one example, the Los Angeles board recently funded a study of contaminants in river runoff in the Los Angeles basin. Universities The are more than 200 academic institutions in the region of the Southern California Bight. Some of these have extensive and diverse marine research programs, while others may have only one or a few marine scientists active in particular specialties. The great number and wide variety of the academic marine research programs carried out in the bight make it impossible to review this work in detail. The following paragraphs therefore summarize only those programs that are large, well known, or have contributed significantly to knowledge about the marine environment and environmental effects. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of Cali- fornia (UC) system carries out the largest and most varied set of marine research programs in the bight. Scripps is one of the largest oceanographic institutions in the country. It coordinates Sea Grant projects carried out by schools in the UC system and is a member of the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS), partially funded by the Na- tional Science Foundation. The research performed at Scripps is worldwide in scope and the institution maintains a fleet of oceangoing research vessels. However, a significant proportion of this work is focused on the California Current system and the Southern California Bight. Scripps has several large research groups that focus on particular as- pects of marine studies. The Food Chain Research Group's focus is the food web dynamics and biogeochemical cycles of plankton, and the nature of environmental effects on these. The Marine Life Research Group focuses on understanding the distribution and variability of the living resources of the California Current system. This research is carried out primarily - 3Between June and September 1986, 346 recruited divers made 1,371 dives in the Pt. Loma kelp bed. Over 90 percent of the divers took seafood from the kelp bed and 25 percent of those who ate the seafood ate it raw. Raw seafood was consumed underwater by 18 percent of the divers. Severe illnesses that fit the highly credible gastrointestinal symptoms (HCGI) as defined by EPA were reported. If all reported HCGI illnesses were genuine, then there were eight HCGI cases per 1,000 divem. The new EPA Water Contact Criteria that use enterococcus as the indicator organism for marine waters set a maximum allowable geometric mean enterococcus concentra- tion that would permit an estimated 19 illnesses per 1,000 swimmers. The apparent health risk to divers in the Pt. Loma kelp bed is thus relatively low.
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93 in conjunction with the CalCOFI Program. The Center for Coastal Stud- ies emphasizes investigations of sedimentology and physical and chemical oceanography in the coastal zone. The goal of these studies is to increase the ability to assess and predict the effects of human activity in the coastal environment. In addition to these large groups, individual investigators at Scripps carry out research on the physical and chemical oceanography of the bight, as well as on the biology of kelp bed communities, fish populations, and other resources. The University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) supports the Marine Science Institute and the Coastal Research Center. These research groups carry out basic and applied studies on specific marine resources such as kelp beds and fish stocks, as well as on more general problems such as the toxicity of pollutants. The Center for Remote Sensing and Environmental Optics is developing methods for applying remote sensing (i.e., satellite imagery) technology to the assessment of-patterns and processes in the marine environment. The University of Southern California (USC), a private institution in Los Angeles that is designated as a Sea Grant Institutional Program and is part of UNOLS, operates the Santa Catalina Island Marine Science Center. Historically, the USC Allan Hancock Foundation conducted pioneering programs emphasizing the coastal sedimentology and benthic ecology of the bight. USC has also conducted diverse applied studies, such as baseline inventories in marinas, harbors, and nearshore and continental shelf waters, and environmental assessments in support of the siting of the Hyperion Treatment Plant deepwater outfall and the Terminal Island Treatment Plant outfall. USC has also cooperated with the County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County in studies of the plume from the districts' White Point outfall. Other studies performed by USC researchers have examined the effects of oil seeps, the Santa Barbara oil spill, harbor dredging, and disposal of fish processing wastes. The California State University (CSU) system, originally termed the State College system, is distinct from the University of California system. In the Los Angeles area, the State University system operates the Southern California Ocean Studies Consortium (SCOSC), which coordinates marine research, education, and community service programs at several state uni- versity campuses. The consortium recently completed a baseline biological survey for the Terminal Island dry bulk handling terminal in Los Ange- les Harbor. Prior to and since the formation of SCOSC, faculty at CSU Long Beach have studied the effects of pollution on nearshore benthos and on reproduction of benthic invertebrates and have developed alter- native bioassay/toxicity testing techniques. Facula at CSU Fullerton and CSU Northridge have focused on the ichthyology of wetlands and embay- ments. Researchers at San Diego State University have performed studies
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94 of wetlands degradation and restoration and of the impacts of sewage from Mexico on the Tijuana estuary. The California Institute of Technology (Cal filch) supports the Environ- mental Engineering Program and the Environmental Quality Laboratory. Scientists in these two groups have been involved in the design of major wastewater outfalls in the bight and in developing design modifications for power plant cooling-water intakes that drastically reduced the numbers of fish taken in with the cooling water. In addition, Cal loch scientists have studied the chemical and physical processes related to the movement and ultimate fates of discharged materials in the bight, have examined the chem- istry of wastewater effluent, and investigated the fractionation of sewage sludge discharged to the ocean. For many years, Cal Tech also housed the Kelp Habitat Improvement Project, a long-term effort to understand the biology of kelp beds and enhance their survival and growth. Notable among the research programs at small colleges in the bight is that at Occidental College, which has operated the R.V. Vantuna program for more than a decade. This ship-based program focuses on extensive otter trawling and diver ichthyological surveys, and on research on the effects of heated wastewater plumes from coastal power plants. Private Industry Private industries in the bight maintain research programs that are targeted at understanding the effects of specific discharges or other activi- ties. With the exception of Southern California Edison's program, however, most of these are small and narrowly focused. Since 1972, the company has operated a research and development laboratory in Redondo Beach, and for many years supported a program of voluntary research termed the "Special Studies Program." These studies were carried out at SCE's initiative in order to: more clearly describe the effects of the company's permitted intake and discharge of power plant cooling water, and these effects. develop a greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying Southern California Edison's research has included investigations of the effect of chlorinated discharges and thermal stress on various life stages of coastal fishes, fish behavior around cooling water intakes, the bightwide distribution patterns of ichthyoplankton and adult fishes, the biology of kelp beds, and remote sensing studies of surface-water temperature patterns throughout the bight. An unusual aspect of much of Edison's research is its emphasis on bightwide patterns and processes. For example, the company has attempted to determine whether its numerous coastal power plants, in
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9s the aggregate, have had any effect on larval and adult fish abundance and distribution in the bight. This orientation reflects the fact that Southern California Edison, unlike other dischargers, operates throughout the entire bight. Research Successes Research programs have contributed greatly to both the evolution of monitoring technology and to the mitigation of the impacts of human ac- tivity in the bight. These contributions are too numerous to list completely, but a few historical examples will indicate the breadth and importance of the relationship between research and monitoring programs in the bight. For many years, scientists at USC's Allan Hancock Foundation carried out research on the biogeography of the bight. These studies described the fauna of the continental shelf and slope and the offshore basins. The result- ing comprehension of zonation patterns was important in understanding the impacts of wastewater discharge. This information was also instrumental in determining the placement of outfalls and designing monitoring programs. When Southern California Edison was first constructing coastal power plants in the bight, it worked closely with scientists and engineers at Cal Tech to redesign cooling water intakes to reduce the numbers of fish taken in with the cooling water (or impinged). Modeling and experimental studies showed that fish were disoriented by the vertical flow fields around intakes. As a result of this understanding, Southern California Edison fitted velocity caps to all intake structures. These velocity caps create a horizontal flow field around intakes, thus reducing the numbers of fish impinged by over 90 percent. Both the severity of the original problem and the efficacy of the velocity caps were documented by monitoring. The diversion in 1971 of the County Sanitation Districts of Orange County's wastewater discharge from a shallow inshore outfall to a deeper outfall offshore provided a unique opportunity for research on both the recovery and disturbance of benthic communities. Gary Smith, of Scripps, studied the dynamics of community recovery at the old discharge site and the progress of disturbance effects at the new outfall site (Smith, 1974~. The increased understanding of impact mechanisms that resulted from this study was extremely valuable in the continued improvement of monitoring around outfalls in the bight. SUMMARY Monitoring and research programs in the Southern California Bight are both diverse and intensive. They are carried out by a wide variety of federal, state, and local agencies, as well as by universities and private
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96 industry. Virtually every aspect of the marine environment is currently being monitored or otherwise investigated. In many instances, research and monitoring activities have been closely coordinated, with research results being used effectively to improve and re- Sne monitoring efforts. The active marine research community in Southern California has produced many innovations that have advanced the state of the art in marine monitoring. In addition, the large monitoring programs represent a valuable source of time-series data on the marine environment in the bight. One of the most striking features of the monitoring and research system in the bight is the great number of programs carried out by an almost equally great number of agencies, universities, and industries. This has led to examples of interagency cooperation that could serve as a model for other regions facing similar problems. However, it has also led to fragmentation and a lack of integration, which has hampered monitoring efforts. These issues and others related to the technical design of monitoring programs will be dealt with in Chapters 5 and 6.
Representative terms from entire chapter: