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Project Information

Title: Lingering Oil and Predators: Pathways of Exposure and Population Status

Project Year and Number: 2003: 030620

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: 2006: 040620-1, 2005: 040620-1, 2004: 040620-1

Principal Investigator (PI): Jeep Rice, NOAA

Assisting Personnel: Brenda Ballachey, Jim Bodkin, Mandy Lindeberg, Jeff Short

Research Location: Prince William Sound, Gulf of Alaska

Restoration Category: Research

Injured Resources Addressed: Harlequin Ducks , Sea Otters

Abstract: Lingering oil and continued effects to sea otters and sea ducks are the most surprising and best documented long term impacts of the oil spill. Strong evidence is accumulating which implicates lingering oil as a factor constraining recovery of the nearshore ecosystem in western Prince William Sound. Acute and chronic contamination of sediments and prey species were well documented during the years following the spill. Twelve years later, elevated biomarker levels in sea otters and sea ducks have indicated continued exposures to hydrocarbons. Evidence implicating a route of exposure to date has been largely circumstantial. However, in 2001 and 2002, extensive sampling was undertaken to document the distribution, abundance, and bioavailability of lingering oil along those shorelines most heavily impacted by the spill. This has paved the way for identifying specific areas where sea otters and sea ducks could be currently foraging and exposed to lingering oil. This project is an outgrowth of the earlier studies and will focus on the direct pathways of lingering oil to sea otter and sea duck populations in two heavily impacted bays in the western sound.


Geographic Regions Prince William Sound
Species Marine Mammals - Sea Otters
Seabirds - Sea ducks
Fields of Expertise Contaminants/Toxicology
Management & Policy
Population Biology
Technological Methods Modeling
Professional Activity Field research and Data Collection
Ecosystems Marine – Nearshore
Marine – Pelagic
Species Specific Research Issues Marine Mammals - Contaminants
Marine Mammals - Population structure
Seabirds - Contaminants
Seabirds - Habitat needs and disturbance

Proposal: View PDF (400 KB)

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: 2003

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 2003

Annual Report: 2003: Not Available

Final Report: See Project 47

Publications from this Project: None Available

More information may be available for this project under other years:

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Project Number Proposal Annual Reports Final Report Data
2006: 040620-1 View (PDF) 2006: View (PDF)
2005: View (PDF)
2004: View (PDF)
In Review Prior to Publication - For More Information Please Contact Us No datasets