Chukchi Sea Offshore Monitoring in Drilling Area (Chemical and Benthos) (COMIDA CAB) is a comprehensive program funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to establish an integrated knowledge of this biologically productive and diverse ecosystem. The project spans 2008-2011, with field seasons in 2009-2010.
An extension of COMIDA CAB began in 2011 with the Hanna Shoal Ecosystem Study.
The Chemical and Benthos component addresses the benthic system with a particular emphasis on sediment chemical characteristics and the benthic biota, both infaunal and epifaunal. Objectives include:
Data from sampling efforts in 2009 and 2010 reveal that sediments contain low or background values for metals and aliphatic hydrocarbons (except for a few notable exceptions), and that the northern whelk, Neptunea heros, is a potentially valuable indicator for metals and organic contaminants.
The northeastern Chukchi Sea is a productive and highly complex system that is characterized by significant spatial heterogeneity in both benthic infaunal and epifaunal populations.
Read more in the final report.