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NOAA releases study on Fagatele Bay water quality

A NOAA diver in Fagatele Bay
Source: NOAA press release

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A new study released by NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science this week says the water quality in Fagatele Bay is relatively good.

The report describes the results of a study, conducted in Fagatele Bay in 2019, assessing the quality of water and sediments in the bay using multiple techniques to test for chemicals, metals, and bacteria.

This study detected 32 pollutants in the bay, but these were all at relatively low concentrations. The report states that these are unlikely to be of acute toxicological concern, and do not pose an immediate risk to humans or marine life.

Laboratory toxicity testing of Fagatele Bay water samples did not show significant toxicity, however, some of the water samples tested positive for the bacteria, Escherichia coli (or e-coli), and all samples tested positive for total coliform bacteria demonstrating that mammal or bird wastes are reaching the bay.

 The close proximity of the Futiga Landfill may eventually pose a risk to the vibrant coral reefs in the bay, so the sanctuary was very pleased to work with NOAA partners to complete this project.

 This is an important first step to track pollutants in the bay and the sanctuary will use these data as a baseline to ensure that water quality does not degrade over time.

Overall, this study found that the water quality in Fagatele Bay is relatively good. 

The full report is available at NOAA's website: