We have developed biosentinel species indicators for wetlands to help the SBMP management team make decisions relative to mercury risk about where and how to restore salt ponds to wetlands. 2008 was the third and last year of a project to characterize and monitor bio-available mercury and its uptake into local food webs of the South Bay managed ponds and intertidal habitats, focusing initially on Pond A8 and Alviso Slough. Results indicated that this approach can be used to guide management decisions about wetlands restoration locations. The basic approach is to use the mercury burden in sentinel populations of fish, birds, and invertebrates to assess the relative degree of ecological risk of mercury exposure between habitat types and locations, and, where the burdens warrant, investigate the physio-chemical and ecological causes of the burdens observed.
Josh Collins and Jay Davis, San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI)
Mark Marvin-Dipasquale, US Geological Survey
Dave Drury, Santa Clara Valley Water District
South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project (SBSPRP Science Team)