Forster's Tern Nest. Photograph by Josh Ackerman.
Birds are valuable sentinel species in water quality monitoring in the Bay and in programs around the world, including the Great Lakes, the Canadian arctic, and the Baltic Sea. The RMP monitors a broad suite of contaminants in the eggs of Double-crested Cormorants and Forster’s Terns. Eggs are collected on a three-year cycle. The latest round of egg collections occurred this spring. Long-term declines in PBDEs, DDT, and dioxins have been observed. Concentrations of PCBs and PFOS have been highest in the Lower South Bay.
The RMP has just published a technical report summarizing the long-term dataset.