Impact of Mid-Atlantic sewage sludge probed


  • Charles Blue


Every year since 1986, 8 million tons of raw sewage has been dumped into the ocean at the Mid-Atlantic Bight, an area 100 miles off the coast of New York and New Jersey. Originally, this location was thought to be a safe dump site because of its considerable depth and strong ocean currents, which would prevent sewage from accumulating on the ocean floor. Recently, several scientists tested that assumption and found evidence for significant amounts of sewage accumulation at the dump site.

Scientific studies of the dump site, coordinated by NOAA's National Undersea Research Program, will be presented at the 1992 AGU Ocean Science Meeting in New Orleans, January 27–31. The studies reveal the extent of sewage sludge accumulation at the Mid-Atlantic Bight and determine the environmental impact that significant accumulations of this material has on the ocean environment.