Potential impact of dare county landfills on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

Authors

  • Parley V. Winger,

    Corresponding author
    1. U.S. Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Warnell School of Forest Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602
    • U.S. Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Warnell School of Forest Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602
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  • Peter J. Lasier,

    1. U.S. Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Warnell School of Forest Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602
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  • Tom Augspurger

    1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services, 551-F Pylon Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606
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Abstract

Runoff of leachate from East Lake and Dare County Construction and Demolition Debris landfills has the potential to impact wildlife resources at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Dare and Hyde Counties, North Carolina. Sediment quality of samples collected in August 2000 at 14 locations down-gradient from the landfills was assessed by measuring metal and organic contaminants in the sediments, chronic toxicity of solid-phase sediment (28-d static-renewal exposures; survival and growth as test endpoints) and acute toxicity of sediment porewater (96-h static exposures) to Hyalella azteca (Crustacea: Amphipoda). In addition, contaminant bioaccumulation from 4 sediments was determined using 28-d exposures of Lumbriculus variegatus (freshwater oligochaete). Although survival was not impaired, length of H. azteca was significantly reduced in sediments from 5 locations. Pore water from 4 locations was acutely toxic to H. azteca. Metals and a few polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were bioaccumulated by L variegatus from the sediments. Several metals and PAHs exceeded sediment quality guidelines, and metals in porewater from several sites exceeded water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic wildlife. Runoff of leachate from the landfills has reduced sediment quality and has the potential to adversely affect wildlife resources at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

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