Integrative (over a period of time) observation/sampling is achieved by passive, membrane- based sampling tools (passive sampler) as well as by using immobilized sentinel marine biota such as blue mussels (active sampler). In a „Caged Mussel Approach“ standardized mussels of known origin are continuously deployed at two COSYNA stations, allowing a targeted, spatially resolved monitoring as well as a repetitive sampling for time series or trend analysis. Within this context, the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) represents a well-investigated indicator organism, its body burdens of anthropogenic contaminants reflect the current state of the environment.
Two new experimental platforms (near Helgoland as a part of the underwater experimental site “MarGate”, and at the “Seebäderbrücke” in Cuxhaven directly beside the fixed Ferrybox container) have been developed by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht to investigate the potentially hazardous effects of contaminants in coastal and marine environments. The integrative sampling techniques provide information about time weighted average contaminant concentrations. Averaging often generates data that represent the state of the environment better than data generated by conventional spot sampling.