OR&R Scientists Prepare for Oil Spills on Beaches by Sampling Porewater
DEC. 5, 2022 — On Nov. 3, scientists from the Southeast region in OR&R’s Assessment & Restoration Division prepared to assess oil spill impacts on beaches by testing a beach porewater sampling protocol.
Porewater is the water that occurs in the spaces between the sand particles. When a beach is oiled, this water can become contaminated and be a major route of exposure for organisms that live in the sand. Measuring concentrations in porewater can provide evidence related to possible levels of impact to those communities, even though the oil has visibly been cleaned up.
This sampling included other elements of a field assessment, including accessing and using basic field gear, GPS, field assessment guidelines and forms, chain of custody forms, and data intake. By practicing this sampling protocol, the OR&R scientists are better prepared to evaluate impacts to beaches impacted by oil or chemical spills as well as advise partners on how to conduct such sampling.