Bivalves are excellent water quality biosentinels; therefore, NOAA established the National Status and Trends Mussel Watch Program in 1986 to monitor contaminant concentrations in mussels. The long-term monitoring program has revealed a general decline in many legacy, bioaccumulative pollutant concentrations over time. To expand the utility and relevance of the Mussel Watch program, NOAA partnered with the State Water Board, SFEI, USGS, and SCCWRP to incorporate CEC monitoring into the program. The 2010 pilot project monitored 167 CECs in resident bivalves at established NOAA Mussel Watch Stations. The study helped inform what CECs should be targeted for future monitoring efforts.

Documents and Reports

State Water Resources Control Board webpage describing the Mussel Watch Program

Presentation: National Mussel Watch Monitoring of the California Coast in 2010

  • Description: This presentation by Dominic Gregorio (State Water Board) and Nathan Dodder (SCCWRP) provides an overview of the CEC Pilot Program and results from the 2010 monitoring effort

Refocusing Mussel Watch on contaminants of emerging concern (CECs): The California pilot study (2009–10)

  • Description: This manuscript (Maruya et al. 2013) describes the CEC Pilot program and reports the survey results. The manuscript suggests that the pilot program will serve as a model for future monitoring CECs in the aquatic food web

Mussel Watch Monitoring in California: Long-term Trends in Coastal Contaminants and Recommendations for Future Monitoring

  • Description: This 2013 SFEI report presents data from the State Water Board and the State Mussel Watch Program (run by the California Department of Fish and Wildife and subsequently the RMP). The data from the two programs are compared to NOAA's National Mussel Watch Program. The report also details recommendations for CEC monitoring in future bivalve surveys.