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Marine nearshore sediment

This marine nearshore sediment monitoring study sampled sediments at approximately one fathom depth along the urban nearshore in Puget Sound during the summer of 2016.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is the project lead, working with assistance from Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and King County Environmental Lab (KCEL).

The goal of this study is to assess chemical concentrations in the Puget Sound urban nearshore sediments.

Sampling and data analysis are completed and the final report is expected in late 2017. Recommendations from the science team for a regional urban nearshore sediment trend program will also be included in the final report.

The Stormwater Work Group (SWG) will make changes to the SAM nearshore trend monitoring program based on recommendations from the report and further discussion by SWG's technical committees.

This map shows the nearshore sediment sampling locations for the SAM program.

Site selection

Nearshore monitoring sites for SAM were drawn using EPA’s spatially-balanced probabilistic random stratified approach. The Puget Sound shoreline master list was restricted to the nearshore along 2011 urban growth areas in Puget Sound. The SAM sediment sites are the same as the SAM mussel sites, with only a couple exceptions.

Puget Sound Mussel Monitoring sample design provides more information. Each site represents a length of 800 meters along urban nearshore areas. SAM nearshore sediment monitoring occurred in Aug. 2016 at 40 urban nearshore sites at one fathom in depth. The study’s sampling Quality Assurance Progress Plan (QAPP) provides information on the sites and study design.

Key project tasks and deliverables

The scopes of work for the contracts with USGS (lead), King County, and Washington Department of Natural Resources  (DNR) describe the sampling and data analysis tasks for the team members.  

Sampling preparation and field data

  • QAPP for SAM nearshore sediment sampling
  • Field sampling datasheets and photos DNR & King County

Laboratory analysis

  • Inter-lab comparison on nearshore marine sediment samples
  • Microplastics analysis memo (USGS Federal Matching Funds- Not paid for by SAM)
  • Nearshore sediment data to Ecology’s EIM Database under SAM_MNS

Report and communications

  • Interim findings were presented to the SWG and Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program (PSEMP) Toxics Work Group in 2016 and 2017.
  • 2017 SAM Symposium Nearshore Sediment presentation
  • Final report (anticipated January 2018)  
  • Fact sheet (anticipated January  2018)  

Option 2: Receiving water monitoring

Pierce County opted out of the pooled-fund SAM status and trends in receiving waters program for the 2013-2018 permit cycle. Their fulfillment of the permit requirement includes a separate receiving water study in their jurisdiction that follows SAM protocols.

Pierce County is storing their associated data in EIM under the study ID RSMP_PC_MNS2015.