Turtle River Toxic Legacy Poisons Dolphins, Drinking Water
The “Marshes of Glynn,” and the Golden Isles of Georgia are the vacation destination for millions, but tucked in those marshes near Brunswick is a toxic site riddled with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), caustic soda, mercury and lead. Twenty years after the LCP Chemicals plant closed and 18 years after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first ordered a cleanup of the site, the contaminants remain, leaching into underground drinking water supplies and contaminating wildlife and humans with cancer-causing chemicals. In fact, the Turtle River which flows by the 500-acre LCP Chemical site has the distinction of being home to the world’s most contaminated bottlenose dolphins, with PCB levels more than one and a half times greater than levels recorded in Pacific Ocean killer whales which were once thought to be among the world’s most contaminated marine mammals. The creatures that thrill visitors to Georgia’s coast are now suffering from health problems including immune suppression and anemia, and their plight suggests that humans, like dolphins that eat fish from the Turtle River, may be unwittingly poisoning themselves with the LCP Chemical’s toxic legacy.