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Determination of Nutrient Loads to East Coast Canals

photo of scientist holding sampling equipment over bridge railing
Project Investigator: Arthur C. Lietz

Project Start Date: 1995 End Date: 1999


This project will attempt to quantify nitrogen and phosphorus loads to the Biscayne Bay.

The ecological health of bays and estuaries has become a matter of concern throughout the country. Biscayne Bay, which is a shallow, oligotrophic, subtropical estuary along the southeastern coast of Florida has been adversely impacted in certain locations by the increase in nutrient loads from tributary canals that have resulted from agricultural, urban, commercial and industrial processes. The ecological health of the Bay, as well as development of restoration efforts is dependent in part on understanding loads to the bay. This project will attempt to quantify nitrogen and phosphorus loads to the Bay based upon models developed from ordinary least squares regression techniques. It will also examine which historical methods of sampling accurately represent nutrient concentrations in the water column of south Florida canals and can be used to calculate past nutrient loading. Also, water-quality trend analysis will be conducted on data from two former National Stream Quality Accounting Network (NASQAN) sites that have a direct impact on the south Florida ecosystem.


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