Thesis Defense Seminar - Kenneth Hayes
Due to COVID-19 precautions, this seminar will only be available for viewing via WebEx.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE PROGRAM
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-CORPUS CHRISTI
SUBJECT: A eutrophication assessment of two south Texas estuaries
MAJOR ADVISOR: Dr. Michael Wetz
Texas’s coast is one of the fastest growing regions in the United States, prompting concern that the coastal development will lead to eutrophication. High nutrient levels associated with eutrophication have been associated with increased chlorophyll and phytoplankton concentrations, including nuisance and toxic algae, and hypoxic conditions. The U.S. EPA has encouraged states to adopt numeric nutrient criteria as a method to decrease nutrient pollution, but Texas is without numerical nutrient water quality standards. A needed first step towards development of these standards is to assess and prioritize coastal ecosystems in the region of interest (in this case, the Texas coast). This study focused on applying three different eutrophication assessment approaches (EPA, NOAA and TCEQ) to determine if Oso and Baffin Bays are experiencing degraded or impaired water quality due to excessive nutrient loading. Results from the study indicate that regardless of the classification scheme used, Oso Bay is experiencing degraded water quality and its water quality would be considered “poor” and considered eutrophic. For Baffin Bay, the results from the study using EPA and NOAA classification indicate that Baffin Bay is experiencing degraded water quality and its water quality would be considered “poor” and considered eutrophic. However, using TCEQ as a classification indicated that Baffin Bays water quality was “good”. This discrepancy was due to all their criteria not having consistent indicators or “cut point” concentrations. These findings demonstrate the need for uniform numerical water quality standards and indicators.
Meeting number: 133 363 0082
Password: mbVydR6Hd52 (62893764 from phones)