Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


College of Arts and Sciences


Environmental Management

First Advisor

Allison Luengen


Maritime traffic congests the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in San Pedro Bay, CA, and contributes to aquatic metal pollution. Zinc, copper, and nickel are released from all boats, and there has been inadequate management of sediment containing high concentrations of metals in the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles. The contaminated sediment is currently dredged, but this method is expensive (over $300,000,000 annually), requires additional treatments, and can harm aquatic life. A site evaluation from grey literature and water quality reports revealed that dissolved copper and zinc have repeatedly exceeded chronic levels of exposure (3.1µg/L and 81µg/L, respectively), harming aquatic inhabitants. A comparative analysis of bioremediation and conventional remediation methods suggested that physiochemical, physical, and chemical conventional metal remediation methods are chosen because of their fast treatment times, but they have critical drawbacks, including waste production and potential harm to the environment. Bioremediation is a greener and more cost-effective remediation choice than conventional methods. Marine isolated bacteria are advantageous for remediation because they have a natural metal tolerance. A SWOT analysis demonstrated that the best remediation method was microbial bioremediation through biostimulation of native microbial consortia. Biostimulation could be carried out using marine isolated microbes in bioreactors, but further site evaluation is required. Increased enforcement of existing regulations, dedicated facilities for the disposal of scrubber water, more frequent sediment monitoring, and increased regulations for the use of antifouling paints and sacrificial anodes is recommended to decrease dissolved metal accumulation related to boating activity.

Available for download on Wednesday, May 21, 2025

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