a1 Geological Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA
a2 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA
a3 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA
a4 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA
a5 Moss Landing Marine Laboratory, Moss Landing, California 95039, USA
a6 Marine Station, University of Texas, Port Aransas, Texas 78373, USA
a7 Bodega Marine Laboratory, University of California, P.O. Box 247, Bodega Bay, California 94923, USA
a8 Commission on Natural Resources, National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20418, USA,
a9 Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Research Laboratory, South Ferry Road, Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882, USA
a10 Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.
The levels of four sets of pollutants (heavy-metals, artificial radionuclides, petroleum components, and halogenated hydrocarbons), have been measured in U.S. coastal waters, using bivalves as sentinel organisms. The strategies of carrying out this programme are outlined and the results from the first year's work are given. Varying degrees of pollution in U.S. coastal waters have been indicated by elevated levels of pollutants in the bivalves, which comprised certain species of mussels and oysters and were collected at over one hundred localities.