Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Science and Biology


This project assessed the condition of Brockport Creek and a tributary following removal of contaminated sediment from the tributary in 2002. Before the cleanup, PCB concentrations in sediments ranged from 1, 730 to 34,900 µg/kg; after the cleanup they ranged from 288 to 432 µg/kg, below water quality criteria for aquatic organisms and human health. The number of heavy metals detected in sediments after the cleanup decreased from 22 to eight, and their concentrations also decreased. After the cleanup, concentrations of metals ranged from 0.8 to 172 µg/kg; some values were above water quality criteria for aquatic organisms and human health, especially for Zinc. The benthic macroinvertebrate community at the cleanup site was severely degraded; all but one of the other six sampled sites exhibited characteristics of moderately polluted or disturbed invertebrate communities. Daphnia and larval Pimephales were more sensitive to sediment exposure than Hyallela and adult Pimephales. No patterns of toxicity were observed in relation to location of sediment samples in Brockport Creek for test organism weight, length or offspring production, but survival rates were generally higher in the area of the cleanup site than at sites farther up- and downstream in Brockport Creek. The cleanup of the contaminated tributary appears to have been successful, but sediment quality in other parts of Brockport Creek warrants further study.