National Status and Trends: Bioeffects Program - Sabine Lake, Texas Database

The toxicity of sediments in Sabine Lake, Texas, and adjoining Intracoastal Waterway canals was determined as part of bioeffects assessment studies managed by NOAA's National Status and Trends Program. The study area encompassed all of Sabine Lake, portions of the Sabine River, portions of the Neches River, portions of the Neches-Sabine Canal at the confluence of the two rivers, portions of Sabine Pass channel entrance, and an area in the Gulf of Mexico near the entrance channel. A stratified-random sampling design similar to those used in previous surveys conducted nationwide by NOAA was applied in Sabine Lake. The study area was subdivided into 22 irregular-shaped strata. Strata established within channels were further subdivided into three substrata to improve spatial coverage. Only one location each was sampled within each substratum, whereas three locations were sampled in each of the larger undivided strata.Surficial sediment samples were collected during August, 1995 from 66 randomly-chosen locations. Laboratory toxicity tests were performed as indicators of potential ecotoxicological effects in sediments. A battery of tests was performed to generate information from different phases (components) of the sediments. Tests were selected to represent a range in toxicological endpoints from acute to chronic sublethal responses. Toxicological tests were conducted to measure: reduced survival of adult amphipods exposed to solid-phase sediments; impaired fertilization success and abnormal morphological development in gametes and embryos, respectively, of sea urchins exposed to pore waters; reduced metabolic activity of a marine bioluminescent bacteria exposed to organic solvent extracts; and induction of a cytochrome P-450 reporter gene system in exposures to solvent extracts of the sediments.Chemical analyses were performed on portions of each sample to quantify the concentrations of trace metals, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, and chlorinated organic compounds. Correlation analyses were conducted to determine the relationships between measures of toxicity and concentrations of potentially toxic substances in the samples.The full report is available online at

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Last Updated June 7, 2017, 22:51
Created June 7, 2017, 22:51
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