Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, July 2004

Kristen Milligan, Ph.D., 732-872-0111, Science@cleanoceanaction.org

 

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SUMMER CATCH: HEALTH ADVISORIES FOR NJ FISH & CRABS

On June 8, COA attended the conference, "Seafood: Assessing the Benefits and Risks," sponsored by Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the NJ Departments of Agriculture and Resource Management and Family & Consumer Sciences.  The conference provided an overview of fish consumption advisories and the health benefits of eating seafood.  There are multiple health benefits to including fish in your diet; however, it is important to be aware of federal and local fish consumption advisories.  These advisories stem from years of pollution in our waterways.  The toxins from a legacy of pollution made their way into the bottom sediments, the base of the marine food chain, and are taken up by worms, crabs, and fish that consume these sediments. 

 

For information about health advisories for fish and crabs from NJ waters, check the 2004 Guide to Health Advisories for Eating Fish and Crabs Caught in New Jersey Waters at http://www.state.nj.us/dep/dsr/njmainfish.htm.  (Includes links to advisories for Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York.)  The Guide combines all the consumption advisories related to Mercury, PCB, and Dioxin formally listed in several publications.  For information, contact the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) (1-609-984-6070), or the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services (1-609-588-3123 or www.state.nj.us/health/eoh/foodweb).

THE EMPIRE STATE STRIKES BACK

On June 4, NYS Department of State (NYSDS) Secretary Randy A. Daniels announced NYSDS’s opposition to US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to designate two ocean disposal sites in Long Island Sound (LIS).  NY used legal provisions under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act that allows a state to object to federal activities that are found to be inconsistent with a state’s coastal program.  NY found that the proposal for two dumpsites was indeed inconsistent and that alternatives such as environmentally sound treatment technologies exist, but were ignored by EPA’s proposal. 

 

"Allowing dredged materials to be dumped in LIS would imperil the health of this vital waterway and impact the economic and recreational activities in shoreline communities," Daniels said.

 

This extraordinary success was made possible thanks to the Friends of Long Island Sound, especially Julie Evans-Brumm who has championed this issue for over 15 years, as well as the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, which began a major effort this spring to rally public opposition to EPA’s proposal.  Hundreds of letters and telephone calls to elected officials resulted.  Though the fight is far from over, this victory is cause for celebration and high praise.

 

(Text provided by Julie Evans-Brumm and Office of NYS Secretary Daniels)

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