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USGS Science Picks
Date:12/12/2008

obertson at 703-648-6624 or jrobertson@usgs.gov.

Man-Made Chemicals Found in Drinking Water at Low Levels
Safe drinking water supplies are critical to maintaining and preserving public health, but how healthy is that resource? Low levels of certain man made chemicals remain in public water supplies after being treated in selected community water facilities. Water from nine selected rivers, used as a source for public water systems, was analyzed in a study by the USGS. Most of the man-made chemicals assessed in the study are unregulated in drinking water and not required to be monitored or removed. Scientists tested water samples for about 260 commonly used chemicals, including pesticides, solvents, gasoline hydrocarbons, personal care and household-use products, disinfection by-products, and manufacturing additives. For more information visit http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/swqa/ or contact Jennifer LaVista at 703-648-4432 or jlavista@usgs.gov.

Reversing Coral Reef Decline in Hawaii A New Look at a Critical Problem
New discoveries about how even small amounts of sediment can severely impact fragile ocean coral and suggestions about solutions are illustrated and described in a new book written by a team of USGS scientists and their colleagues. Coral reefs are in decline worldwide, and a leading cause is the runoff of sediment and pollutants from nearby land surfaces. Scientists conducted a multiyear study of the long fringing coral reef off south Molokai. In the new book, they explain the geologic evolution and natural processes that shape the reef, outline impacts to the reef that are a result of human activity on the land, and explore alternatives for the future. To view the publication, "The Coral Reef of South Moloka'i, Hawai'i Portrait of a Sediment-Threatened Fringing Reef," visit

Contact: Jessica Robertson
jrobertson@usgs.gov
703-648-6624
United States Geological Survey
Source:Eurekalert

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