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The Penobscot River and Environmental Contaminants: Assessment of Tribal Exposure Through Sustenance Lifeways

EPA in collaboration with the Penobscot Indian Nation, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USF&WS) collectively embarked on a four year research study to evaluate the environmental health of the riverine system by targeting specific cultural practices and using traditional science to conduct a preliminary contaminant screening of the flora and fauna of the Penobscot River ecosystem. This study was designed as a preliminary screening to determine if contaminant concentrations in fish, eel, snapping turtle, wood ducks, and plants in Regions of the Penobscot River relevant to where PIN tribal members hunt, fish and gather plants were high enough to be a health concern. This study was not designed to be a statistically validated assessment of contaminant differences among study sites or among species.

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