211887 Urbanization impacts on coastal ecosystems and potential impacts on human health and well-being

Monday, November 9, 2009: 10:35 AM

Geoffrey I. Scott, PhD, MS, BS , NOAA, NOS, NCCOS Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, Center for Human Health Risks and Oceans and Human Health Center of Excellence at the Hollings Marine Laboratory, Charleston, SC
The most significant factor in the decline of environmental conditions within the coastal zone has been the unprecedented increase in human population growth. Globally >55% of the world's population lives < 50 miles from the coast and currently >half of the US population live in coastal communities adjacent to the more than 66,645 miles of estuarine and coastal shoreline. The greatest rate of population change has been in the southeastern U.S. (58%). The compression of >50% of the population into the coastal zone, which represents only 8% of the Earth's surface, creates a dilemma for environmental managers faced with the daunting task of trying to maintain environmental quality in the wake of unbridled urbanization and population growth.

Coastal urbanization may result in significant impacts in environmental quality including altered hydrology which results in increased NPS runoff of nutrients, chemical and microbial contaminants that may degrade water and sediment quality and adversely affect human health. Results from 3 major studies of urbanization on coastal ecosystems will be presented along with results of NOAA's Ocean and Human Health research will be discussed in terms of balancing human uses of the coastal zone and ecosystem and human health issues. Specific impacts on ecosystem services issues such as fishable and swimmable waters will be discussed which may adversely ecosystem and human health. Harmful Algal Bloom detection systems, microbial source tracking and early warning detection systems and other all hazards detection systems (e.g. Environmental Surveillance Network) will be discussed which may prevent human health impacts.

Learning Objectives:
1. Define human health hazards associated with coastal urbanization. 2. Identify early warning detection systems for coastal human health hazards and demonstrate system integration of natural resource data bases into near real time environmental health notification systems. 3. Discuss the utility of these early warning detection systems to better protect human health though Oceans and Health Initiative.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I a Federal Government Center Director for NOAA and I am a tenured Adjunct Associate Professor of Env. Health Sciences at the Arnold School of Public Health at the Univ. of South Carolina. I am qualified to be a presenter and discussant because I have previously been an invited Moderator, Panelist, Discussant, Respondent and Presenter at numerous scientific meetings including issues dealing with human and env. health as well as homeland security issues. This has included Moderator, Presenter and/or Discussant at Oxford University’s Global Climate Change and Sustainability Roundtable, U.S. Conference of Mayors as well as for national advisory panels for EPA on Endocrine Disruptors, Genetically Modified Crops and Pesticide Risk Assessments in the past 3 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.