Sampling Mussels and Marine Mammals for Toxics

PTMSC collected mussel tissue samples from boat basins in Port Townsend. Samples were analyzed for a panel of PAHs and phthalates. Data is owned and managed by PTMSC. 

Lead project staff: Jamie Montague, Citizen Science Coordinator, PTMSC

Project support: The project was funded by the EPA

How was the data captured? For marine mammal blubber samples: corresponding stranding data is stored in the National Marine Mammal Stranding Network database, owned by NOAA. Blubber samples were collected as part of a comprehensive necropsy. For blue mussel samples: environmental observations and sampling coordinates were recorded on field data sheets which are stored on file at PTMSC. Sample analysis was completed by AmTest Laboratories using EPA Method SW846-8270D for semi-volatile analysis. Electronic copies of the results are stored at PTMSC.

Frequency of sampling: Blubber samples were collected from five marine mammals during the 2013 and 2014 stranding network seasons. All marine mammals were stranded in Port Townsend Marine Science Center’s district of the Northwest Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Eight blue mussel samples were collected from three boat basins in Port Townsend, WA. All samples were collected within one week of each other.

Is it replicable? Yes. Project sampling protocol is replicable with other marine mammals and sites hosting blue mussel populations.

Data users: Port Townsend Community members, visitors to exhibits and website. Participants in a Be A Toxic Free Zone program. 

Who were the key partners? Cascadia Research Collective, AmTest Laboratories, NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

Revision history: At this point, there have not been any revisions to the project protocols or data

Is this data open source? Due to data sensitivity, the raw data from this project is not available to the general public. Considerations will be made on a case by case basis. A summary of results is available to the general public.

*All references to and citations of the Sampling Mussels and Marine Mammals for Toxics data, summary of data, and published conclusions should be written as follows: Port Townsend Marine Science Center, Citizen Science Program, 2014.