Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment

Gulf of Maine Projects

Final Report: Evaluation of the Gulfwatch Monitoring Program

As part of the mission of Gulf of Maine Council, the GOM Monitoring Committee was charged the development of the Gulf of Maine Environmental Monitoring Plan. The intent of the Monitoring Plan is to provide environmental resource managers with information to support sustainable use of the Gulf and allow assessment and management of risk to public and environmental health from current and potential threats.

To carry out the Monitoring Plan, a project named Gulfwatch was established, to measure chemical contamination Gulfwide.

Gulfwatch is presently a program in which the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, is used as an indicator for habitat exposure to organic and inorganic contaminants. Bivalves, such as M. edulis, have been successfully used as indicator organisms in environmental monitoring programs throughout the world to identify variation in chemical contaminants between sites, and contribute to the understanding of trends in coastal contamination.

The reports and data of the Gulfwatch program are available below:

The recent evaluation of the Gulfwatch program, Final Report: Evaluation of the Gulfwatch Monitoring Program, provides a review and recommendations for improvement.

The Evaluation of Gulfwatch reports, from 1994 and 1995 , are currently available in an Adobe Acrobat 3.0 version. (If you need to download this software, it is very easy, and free.)

Since these documents are somewhat bulky, here is the Table of Contents and Introduction. The Gulf of Maine watershed map accompanies these reports in two image sizes, for each year:

1994 Large (75K) image Small (31K) image
1995 Large (79K) image Small (32K) image

The Gulfwatch data, which details contaminant concentrations in the blue mussel, is available in three formats: HTML, a tab-delimited text file, and Microsoft Excel Version 8.0 for PCs.. A table detailing site information accompanies the contaminant data, and can be accessed in an HTML file (43K), text file (5K), or Excel file (28K).

1991-95 Gulfwatch Data: Contaminant Concentrations in the Blue Mussel, Mytilus edulis
  Metal Data PAH Data PCB Data Pesticide Data
HTML Table Text File Excel 8.0 File (PC) HTML Table Text File Excel 8.0 File (PC) HTML Table Text File Excel 8.0 File (PC) HTML Table Text File Excel 8.0 File (PC)
1991 68K 7K 30K ND ND ND ND ND ND ND ND ND
1992 72K 8K 32K 122K 15K 54K 102K 11K 50K 75K 8K 39K
1993 63K 8K 38K 144K 18K 62K 126K 13K 60K 97K 10K 47K
1994 83K 10K 36K 186K 22K 75K 145K 15K 68K 114K 12K 52K
1995 67K 7K 28K 148K 18K 63K 141K 12K 58K 110K 10K 48K

KEY: Links in the table indicate data size. ND indicates No Data.
NOTE: Excel 8.0 files are binary and will have to be viewed with Microsoft Excel. Download the Excel files to your local disk by holding the shift button while clicking on the filename. After you have retrieved the files this way you may load them into Excel.
NOTE:Tab delimited text files may be downloaded the same way as the Excel files and then imported into your favorite database/spreadsheet program.

This program is supported by the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Questions/Comments about data to Steve Jones,