The project is designed to address fluxes and fates of agrochemicals at land/sea boundaries in the estuaries of different hydrological regimes using accepted and established sampling strategies. The project requires an intensive interaction between the participants and important cooperative links in order to ensure the quality and comparability of the data generated.
To achieve these general goals the following objectives and actions will be addressed :
1. To develop sampling and analytical techniques for ultra-trace analysis of agrochemicals in estuarine and sea water.
2. To assess the flux of a selection of agrochemicals from major European rivers to the sea employing the methodology developed and existing estuarine models.
3. To identify the agrochemicals which are most critical for the marine environment taking into account the concentrations of these compounds, the volume of use and toxicological properties as estimated from QSAR studies or from literature data.
In agriculture a broad array of modern, medium to polar pesticides is used. These pesticides are considered to be only moderately persistent in the environment. In recent years, a large number of investigations has been conducted on the concentrations of a number of polar pesticides in fresh surface water, drinking water and ground water. It has become clear that enhanced levels are frequently encountered in these matrices. Considerably less work has been carried out with respect to the marine environment. For a proper environmental risk assessment of agrochemicals more basic information on the presence and fate of agrochemicals in the marine environment is required.
Environmental studies of pesticides in marine waters should at first be focused on estuaries and semi-enclosed marine water bodies under influence of riverine inputs because of the almost entirely anthropogenic origins of these synthetic organic compounds. Riverine inputs of dissolved and particulate agrochemicals are probably the best estimates for qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the contamination of the coastal zones by pesticides.
The project is designed to address fluxes and fates of agrochemicals at land/sea boundaries in the estuaries of different hydrological regimes. To this end, advanced methodology will be developed for sampling and analysis. The project will identify the agrochemicals which are of highest concern for the marine environment and provide data on presence and fluxes which is not available up to now. The results are of particular importance by national and international bodies responsible for marine environmental management.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts