SCCWRP and its partners have completed field sampling for a study examining whether a water-quality standard designed to protect the health of people who consume shellfish from Newport Bay in Orange County has been appropriately set.
The sampling, completed in September, involved harvesting oysters that had been placed in cages in Newport Bay. Researchers will measure viral pathogens and fecal bacterial indicators in the oyster tissue, and also analyze water samples to determine if a relationship exists between contamination in the water column and in the oysters’ tissue. Oysters are filter feeders that can take up bacteria and viruses from the water column.
The study was developed in response to a looming bacterial TMDL (total maximum daily load) regulatory deadline in Newport Bay that mandates compliance with the statewide recreational shellfish water-quality standard – known as SHEL – by 2022.
Initial data and analyses are expected to be available in spring 2020.
More news related to: Microbial Risk Assessment, Microbial Water Quality