Organic Micropollutants in New York Lakes: A Statewide Citizen Science Occurrence Study

Shiru Wang, Monica Matt, Bethany L. Murphy, Marygail Perkins, David A. Matthews, Sharon D. Moran, Teng Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The widespread occurrence of organic micropollutants (OMPs) is a challenge for aquatic ecosystem management, and closing the gaps in risk assessment of OMPs requires a data-driven approach. One promising tool for increasing the spatiotemporal coverage of OMP data sets is through the active involvement of citizen volunteers to expand the scale of OMP monitoring. Working collaboratively with volunteers from the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP), we conducted the first statewide study on OMP occurrence in surface waters of New York lakes. Samples collected by CSLAP volunteers were analyzed for OMPs by a suspect screening method based on mixed-mode solid-phase extraction and liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry. Sixty-five OMPs were confirmed and quantified in samples from 111 lakes across New York. Hierarchical clustering of OMP occurrence data revealed the relevance of 11 most frequently detected OMPs for classifying the contamination status of lakes. Partial least squares regression and multiple linear regression analyses prioritized three water quality parameters linked to agricultural and developed land uses (i.e., total dissolved nitrogen, specific conductance, and a wastewater-derived fluorescent organic matter component) as the best combination of predictors that partly explained the interlake variability in OMP occurrence. Lastly, the exposure-activity ratio approach identified the potential for biological effects associated with detected OMPs that warrant further biomonitoring studies. Overall, this work demonstrated the feasibility of incorporating citizen science approaches into the regional impact assessment of OMPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13759-13770
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 3 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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