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GLIN==> Mercury Workshop

Source: Leslie Dorworth, (219)989-2726
Kathy Luther, (219)881-6730
Contact: Debra Levey Larson
Media/Communications Specialist
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program
(217)333-8055; dlarson@uiuc.edu

Workshop to Study Mercury in the Grand Calumet River

URBANA-Mercury is a complicated pollutant both to understand and to control. Very small quantities of mercury in a water body can lead to bioaccumulation and fish consumption advisories. The methods to collect and analyze mercury samples are expensive, technically difficult and its behavior in the environment is complex. Collecting samples without the possibility of contamination is challenging, especially in the urban industrial environment of Northwest Indiana.
Because there are so many questions and unique challenges when dealing with mercury, it was decided that special study and attention was warranted. Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the Grand Cal Task Force and LTV Steel will co-sponsor a Mercury TMDL Workshop. (TMDL stands for Total Maximum Daily Load which refers to the amount of mercury which can go into a water body per day and still maintain a safe milligram per liter ratio.)
At the workshop, experts will share information about how mercury testing has been addressed in Devil's Lake Wisconsin and in the Florida Everglades. The featured speaker at the workshop will be Carlton Hunt, a nationally known expert in trace metal sampling methodology. Todd Nettesheim of the Environmental Protection Agency and Mary Risch of the United States Geological Survey will also make presentations.
Leslie Dorworth, Aquatic Ecology Specialist for Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant said, "The TMDL Workshop will provide researchers with a better understanding of mercury cycling within the aquatic environment and agencies working on fish consumption advisories will be able to provide the public with clearer information pertaining to the mercury in the fish they eat." From the information presented at this workshop, it is hoped that a research plan can be developed for the Grand Calumet River. The workshop will take place on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Northwest Regional Planning Commission in Portage, Indiana.
For more information about the workshop including registration, contact Jennifer Gadzala, (219)473-4246.


The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program is one of 30 National Sea Grant College Programs. Created by Congress in 1966, Sea Grant combines university, government, business and industry expertise to address coastal and Great Lakes needs. Funding is provided by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U. S. Department of Commerce, Purdue University at West Lafayette, Indiana, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Debra Levey Larson, Media/Communications Specialist
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program
Information, Technology & Communication Services
University of Illinois
63 Mumford Hall, MC-710
1301 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801
IISG tel 217-333-8055
ITCS tel 217-244-2880
fax 217-333-2614
e-mail dlarson@uiuc.edu

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