• Final Report: BUI Delisting Studies in the Niagara River AOC, 2014-2015

      Haynes, James M.; Wellman, Sara T.; Haynes, James M.; Wellman, Sara T.; Marsocci, Anthony R. (2016-09-26)
      From 8 December 2013 to 6 April 2015, 24 mink were caught in the Niagara River AOC, 12 upriver and 12 downriver from Niagara Falls. Average concentrations of total mercury in mink brain and PAH REP in mink liver were 22 and 201 times lower, respectively, than their LOAELs for deformities or reproductive impairment. The average concentration of total PCB in mink liver was 1.15 times higher than the LOAEL for deformities or reproductive impairment, but two mink (one caught upriver and one downriver from Niagara Falls) had very high concentrations of both total PCB and total TEQ (mostly comprised of PCB TEQ). Average concentrations of PCB TEQ and CDD/CDF TEQ in mink liver were 2.9 times higher and 2.9 times lower, respectively, than their LOAELs for deformities or reproductive impairment. The average concentration of total TEQ (sum of PCB, CDD/CDF and PAH) in mink liver was 3.3 times higher than the LOAEL for deformities or reproductive impairment. Mink are one of the most sensitive mammals to CDD/CDF and co-planar PCB congeners, and 67% of the mink trapped in the NR AOC exceeded one or both of the published LOAELs for deformities or reproductive impairment for total PCB and total TEQ. Yet mink are reasonably abundant in suitable habitats in the AOC; thus they are either reproducing there or migrating in from adjacent areas with lower contaminant exposures. The most sensitive biomarker of mink health after exposure to total PCB or total TEQ is the presence of pre-cancerous tissues associated with the jawbone. Of the nine mink with the highest total PCB or total TEQ concentrations, two (22%) had the mildest form and one (11%) had the most severe form of this condition. All of the affected mink were captured in the lower river below Niagara Falls. For the “Bird or Animal Deformities or Reproductive Problems” BUI, in terms of mink health in the NR AOC, it appears that the time for delisting is not yet at hand.
    • Niagara River Niagara County, New York

      Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Nowak, Matthew J.; The College at Brockport (2010-01-01)
      The Niagara River carries water from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and is the major source of Lake Ontario’s water volume. Famous for the immense Niagara Falls, the 36-mile river is used by over 1 million people in the United States and Canada for functions including drinking water, recreation, and hydropower (Niagara Parks 2009). The Niagara River drains the entire upper Great Lake system into the final lake, Lake Ontario, and due to this huge volume of water has a large potential to change Lake Ontario’s water quality. Nuisance algae, bacterial abundance, and algal mat development along the southern shoreline of Lake Ontario are major causes of beach closings, fouling the nearshore waters and limiting water recreation. This short report provides a synopsis of data collected monthly from May through September (2003 to 2009) on the water quality of the Niagara River and the lakeside (swimmable depth, surface sample at a 1-m depth) of Lake Ontario near the mouth of the river.
    • Twelvemile Creek Niagara County, New York

      Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Nowak, Matthew J.; The College at Brockport (2010-01-01)
      The east branch of Twelvemile Creek (69 mi2) flows through northern Niagara County to its mouth at Lake Ontario 12 miles east of the Niagara River, near the village of Wilson, New York. From fall through spring, good runs of steelhead and brown trout with the occasional Chinook and Coho salmon occur into the creek. Agriculture, especially row crop farming, is predominant within the watershed, though natural protected land is also plentiful. The Wilson-Tuscarora State Park provides a buffer between the creek and agriculture immediately around the mouth of the creek, while upstream farms directly line the creek. Nuisance algae, bacterial abundance, and algal mat development along the southern shoreline of Lake Ontario are major causes of beach closings, fouling the nearshore waters and limiting water recreation. This short report provides a synopsis of data collected monthly from May through September (2003 to 2009) on the water quality of Twelvemile Creek and the lakeside (swimmable depth) of Lake Ontario near the mouth of the creek.