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Article

Microbial Source Tracking Approach to Investigate Fecal Waste at the Strawberry Creek Watershed and Clam Beach, California, USA

1
Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory, County of Humboldt, 529 I Street, Eureka, CA 95501, USA
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College of Public Health, University of South Florida, 13201 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, MDC 56, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
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State of California, North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, 5550 Skylane Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jun Hou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6901; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136901
Received: 24 May 2021 / Revised: 23 June 2021 / Accepted: 24 June 2021 / Published: 27 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Water Science and Technology)
Clam Beach is located in Northern California, USA, and is listed as an impaired waterway by the federal government. The scope of this study was to investigate this beach and surrounding watershed to determine, if possible, the source of the impairment by conducting an 11-h beach study and 8-week watershed study. We used traditional fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and microbial source tracking (MST) methods to help identify source(s) of the FIB. Our study was focused on four possible contributors: human, ruminant, canine, and bird. A total of 169 samples were collected, analyzed, and compared to the California Department of Health single sample maximum (SSM) objective. In the beach study, 29 (44%) samples exceeded at least one SSM objective, which would have resulted in a resample per state regulations for recreational primary contact use. MST methods showed that the most abundant marker detected was bird, in 65% of the samples, but varied by sample location, which is likely due to a natural population of nearshore birds regularly observed along Clam Beach. The watershed study highlighted the potential influence from ruminants throughout the region, while humans did not appear to be a significant contributor. Health risk to humans appears to be low. View Full-Text
Keywords: bird; canine; fecal indicator bacteria; human; recreational water; ruminant bird; canine; fecal indicator bacteria; human; recreational water; ruminant
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MDPI and ACS Style

Corrigan, J.A.; Butkus, S.R.; Ferris, M.E.; Roberts, J.C. Microbial Source Tracking Approach to Investigate Fecal Waste at the Strawberry Creek Watershed and Clam Beach, California, USA. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6901. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136901

AMA Style

Corrigan JA, Butkus SR, Ferris ME, Roberts JC. Microbial Source Tracking Approach to Investigate Fecal Waste at the Strawberry Creek Watershed and Clam Beach, California, USA. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(13):6901. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136901

Chicago/Turabian Style

Corrigan, Jeremy A., Steven R. Butkus, Michael E. Ferris, and Jill C. Roberts 2021. "Microbial Source Tracking Approach to Investigate Fecal Waste at the Strawberry Creek Watershed and Clam Beach, California, USA" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 13: 6901. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136901

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