Effects of Contaminated Dredged Material on Aquatic Communities - Documented Long-Term Changes,
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS
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Aquatic disposal of dredged material has a minimal to non-existent impact on physical and chemical water quality parameters. No long-term effects on water column organisms have been observed. Aquatic disposal of dredged material has the immediate impact of reading diversity and abundance of benthic organisms. Animals recolonize mounds of contaminated dredged material rapidly. Community structure at disposal sites becomes very similar to nearby reference areas within three years. Persistent differences which are observed are believed to be related more to geophysical differences in the dredged material than to the level of contaminants. Investigations are currently underway to document short-term and long-term changes in benthic community structure at an uncapped mound of contaminated dredged material in Central Long Island Sound, New York.