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Project Information

Title: LTM Program - Evaluating Chronic Exposure of Harlequin Ducks to Lingering Exxon Valdez Oil

Project Year and Number: 2014: 14120114-Q

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: None

Principal Investigator (PI): Dan Esler

Assisting Personnel: None

Research Location:

Restoration Category: Research

Injured Resources Addressed: Not Specified

Abstract: This Lingering Oil project is associated with Gulf Watch Alaska, the integrated Long-term Monitoring of Marine Conditions and Injured Resources and Services funded by the EVOSTC. Harlequin duck populations in PWS were injured as a result of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, with evidence for both immediate acute mortality and longer term injury from chronic exposure to oil spilled in 1989. A series of EVOSTC projects have examined exposure of harlequin ducks to lingering oil as a factor constraining recovery, using the cytochrome P4501A biomarker, CYP1A. Harlequin ducks showed elevated CYP1A in oiled areas from 1998 through 2011 relative to unoiled areas, which was interpreted to indicate continued exposure to residual oil over that period. Data from March 2013 indicated that CYP1A induction was similar between oiled and unoiled areas, suggesting that exposure to lingering oil had ceased by that time, 24 years after the spill. As recommended in previous iterations of this body of work, we propose to re-sample harlequin duck CYP1A in March 2014 to confirm 2013 findings and substantiate our conclusion that exposure to lingering oil has abated. This work contributes to understanding of the timeline and process of recovery of injured species, as well as the nearshore ecosystem, generally.

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Proposal: View PDF (76 KB)

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: Not Available

Quarterly Project Tasks For: Not Available

Annual Reports: Not Available

Final Report: View

Publications from this Project: None Available