Emerging Contaminants of Concern in Coastal and Estuarine Environments
Coastal and estuarine areas are strategically located, serving as focal points for commerce, as well as homes to a disproportionate share of the human population. As a consequence, they also receive a disproportionate share of the contaminants released. Because of their locations and their physical and chemical characteristics, they may also receive and trap additional contributions from upgradient watersheds and air sheds. Thus, these systems may be more vulnerable to degradation than less dynamic environments. Despite this, coastal and estuarine areas are very important wildlife habitats, serving as refuges and nurseries for a variety of organisms.