Home > Explore Data & Reports > Cruise report: Regional assessment of ecosystem condition and stressor impacts along the northeastern Gulf of Mexico shelf


Cooksey, C., J. Hyland, and M. Fulton. 2010. Cruise report: Regional assessment of ecosystem condition and stressor impacts along the northeastern Gulf of Mexico shelf. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 121. Charleston, SC. 73 pp.

Data/Report Type:

NOAA Technical Memorandum


This cruise report is a summary of a field survey conducted along the continental shelf of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico (GOM), encompassing 70,062 square kilometers of productive marine habitats located between the Mississippi Delta and Tampa Bay, August 13 – 21, 2010 on NOAA Ship Nancy Foster Cruise NF-10-09-RACOW. Synoptic sampling of multiple ecological indicators was conducted at each of 50 stations throughout these waters using a random probabilistic sampling design. At each station samples were collected for the analysis of benthic community structure and composition; concentrations of chemical contaminants (metals, pesticides, TPHs, PAHs, PCBs, PBDEs) in sediments and target demersal biota; sediment toxicity; nutrient and chlorophyll levels in the water column; and other basic habitat characteristics such as depth, salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, pH, CDOM fluorescence, sediment grain size, and organic carbon content. Discrete water samples were collected just below the sea surface, in addition to any deeper subsurface depths where there was an occurrence of suspicious CDOM fluorescence signals, and analyzed for total BTEX/TPH and carcinogenic PAHs using immunoassay test kits. Other indicators of potential value from a human-dimension perspective were also recorded, including presence of any vessels, oil rigs, surface trash, visual oil sheens in sediments or water, marine mammals, or noxious/oily sediment odors.

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