Contaminant Effects on California Bay-Delta Species and Human Health

Stephanie Fong, Stephen Louie, Inge Werner, Jay Davis, Richard Connon

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Key points:

  • Many contaminants in the California Bay-Delta (Bay-Delta) exceed regulatory standards, affect aquatic species, and potentially affect human health.
  • Contaminants occur as dynamic complex mixtures and exert effects at multiple levels of biological organization.
  • The role of contaminants in the decline of Bay-Delta species is difficult to accurately assess in a complex, dynamic system. However, tools and approaches are available to evaluate contaminant effects on Bay-Delta species, and separate the effects of multiple stressors.
  • Contaminants also pose threats to human health via consumption of fish and shellfish, drinking water, and contact recreation, in particular, mercury, cyanobacteria toxins, disinfection byproducts, pathogens, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals and personal care