The Effects of Nutrient Pollution on the Neuse River Estuary

The Effects of Nutrient Pollution on the Neuse River Estuary

The Effects of Nutrient Pollution on the Neuse River Estuary Valerie Winkelmann What is nutrient pollution or eutrophication? A slow natural process of enrichment

Produces enhanced productivity in the body of water Caused by elevated nutrient loading Nitrogen is of main concern in Neuse River Estuary (NRE) Small Volume Bioassay NR-5 Chl 160 140 Chlorophyll ug/L 120

100 July 31 - Aug 4, 2001 80 60 40 20 0 Control All

All-NO3-NH4-urea Treatment All-P Eutrophication leads to

Accelerated enrichment by artificial means produces population explosions of phytoplankton, a.k.a. algal blooms Algae exceed carrying capacity and die Bacterial decomposition creates high BOD Compounded by low DO due to summer water temps Hypoxic or even anoxic conditions SO WHAT? Problems

Fish kills result from anoxic conditions or toxic blooms Harms shellfisheries as well Phytoplankton are base of the food chain

Organisms selectively feed Pfiesteria and other toxic blooms Alter community structure Amount of Species Concentration of Different Species in NR1 5-June-01 400 300

200 100 0 Control All AllNO3NH4 AllNO3urea AllNH4urea

Treatment Centritractus belonophorus ? Gomphospaeria Ankistrodesmus ? AllNH4NO3urea Sources of nutrient pollution

Anthropogenic Urban: wastewater treatment plants Industrial: point source Agricultural: fertilizer and animal waste

Sediments: highly organic sediments decompose, oxygen sink Atmospheric deposition Over 5 years Phosphorous loading decreased 14% Total nitrogen loading increased 16% Total inorganic nitrogen increased 38%

FYI 441 point dischargers contributed 3.34 x 10^8 L effluent/d 554 concentrated animal operations Swine production in the basin has increased

285% in the last decade In 1998, 5.9 x 10^9 kg manure from pigs and poultry contributed 4.1 x 10^7 kg N and 1.4 x 10^7 kg P Solutions State regulations require a 30% reduction in N loading by 2003

Reduce impervious cover Retention ponds Riparian buffers Strict regulation on point source polluters Nutrient management Controlled drainage Conservation tillage system

Eventual Outcome Acknowledgments Ms. Kelly McFarlin Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI

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