Science Serving Maryland's Coasts


Bioaccumulation dynamics of hydrophobic organic contaminants in the Anacostia River food web

Principal Investigator: 

David Velinsky

Start/End Year: 

1998 to 2000


Academy of Natural Sciences Estuarine Research Center

Co-Principal investigator: 

Gregory D. Foster, George Mason University; Donald P. Kelso, George Mason University



The overall objective of this project is to quantify the bioaccumulation and food web dynamics of hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs: primarily PCBs, chlordanes and DDTs) in Anacostia River via exposure through the water column (e.g. suspension feeders, predators) and the benthic (e.g. deposit feeders, suspension feeders) communities in the sediments of the river. Specific objectives are to determine the contaminant level and season variations in important food sources to benthic and pelagic fish in the river, and determine the inter-relationships among primary producer-consumer-predator using multiple techniques including stable isotopes, gut content analysis, and PCB and chlordane concentration and fingerprinting analysis.