A multi-elemental approach to assess potential contamination in tourist beaches: The case of Loreto Bay (Marine Protected Area), NW Mexico
Metal/metalloid concentrations in water sediment and commercial fishes of Loreto Maritime National Park (MNP), Baja California Sur, Mexico were determined for a comprehensive geochemical study. In-situ physical characteristics (pH, conductivity, redox potential, dissolved oxygen, turbidity) of water clearly indicated the unique oceanographic properties of the Gulf of California. Likewise, the distribution pattern of metals/metalloid in water, sediments and fishes denoted the influences of local geology, longshore currents, upwelling process, natural hydrothermal vents and the 100-year old mining activities of Santa Rosalia region, situated to the north of Loreto. Calculated carcinogenic indices in commercial fish species showed safe human consumption. Thus, the present research validates a comprehensive geochemical study of protected areas upholding the need for continuous monitoring for a better conservation of coastal ecosystems.