The RMP Mercury Strategy Jay A. Davis San Francisco Estuary Institute Presented at: The RMP Mercury Coordination Meeting Feb 2008
Origins • SF Bay pollutant enemy #1 • Profusion of mercury proposals • Tom Mumley’s idea • RMP Mercury Group • Stakeholder planning group • Key input from Regional Board
RMP Mercury Strategy • Concise, living document • Overarching goal to support water quality management decisions • Articulates prioritized information needs of managers • Focus on methylmercury • Premise: possible to identify key fractions and processes to achieve a more rapid solution • Augments existing RMP Status and Trends monitoring
Management Questions for Mercury • Where is mercury entering the food web? • Which processes, sources, and pathways contribute disproportionately to food web accumulation? • What are the best opportunities for management intervention for the most important pollutant sources, pathways, and processes? • What effects can be expected from management actions? • Will total mercury reductions result in reduced food web accumulation?
Q1: Patterns in Uptake • Major focus for next 3 years • Spatial and temporal • RMP Small fish • RMP S&T: sport fish, bird eggs, water, sediment • Other studies • FMP • SBMP • USGS
Q2: High Leverage Pathways • Ideally follows Q1 • Some work now, greater focus after a few years • RFP • Two potentially very valuable but somewhat risky studies • Blum isotopes • Hintelman DGTs • Other studies • Sac Regional • WERF….
Q3: Opportunities for Intervention • Ideally follows Q2 • RMP focus on internal sources • Other programs on external sources • Lester’s Prop 13 Study
Q4: Effects of Management Actions • Management actions including remediation, restoration, etc. • Models – continual development • MeHg mass budget a start • Monitoring • Regional monitoring • Local monitoring as actions are taken
Q5: Effect of Total Mercury Reductions • Not part of the 1-4 sequence • No specific studies currently planned
Benefits • Clear direction for obtaining needed information • More effective use of RMP funds • Framework for evaluating and communicating progress
Filling the Gaps • Are there better ways of answering our questions? • Are any important elements missing? • Systematic monitoring of restoration? • Can we be coordinating existing elements better?