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National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment Update

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to update the National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment (NEEA) to highlight changes in nutrient related water quality, sources of nutrients and expected future conditions that have occurred in the decade since the early 1990s (the timeframe represented by the first NEEA). This is the first of what are expected to be periodic updates. An online survey data collection tool has been designed so that experts can enter data and information for nutrient loads and water quality variables that is automatically calculated into an expression value for eutrophication by the online program. The NEEA assessment method has been automated so that the national assessment can be easily produced at regular intervals in the future but it requires data entry from experts who are actively monitoring the 140 systems that are included in the study. The assessment also includes case studies to highlight different aspects and issues of eutrophication response in different regions of the US and will provide context for the broader national view provided by the NEEA Update. The intent is to provide the basis for appropriate and successful management of nutrient related issues in US estuaries and coastal waterbodies.

Objectives

  • Acquire data and information via the online survey data collection tool for 140 estuaries and coastal waterbodies from experts working within those systems with the help of Regional Coordinators who are located in each region and know the critical investigators who have needed data;
  • Update the NEEA showing changes in eutrophication status since the early 1990s;
  • Develop case studies for a subset of estuarine systems (12 – 15) to provide background for the NEEA Update. These will highlight different aspects and issues of eutrophication response in estuaries in different regions of the US and will provide context for the National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment Update Report. Selected systems will be different types, have different human uses, different land use and principal nutrient source loads and have different management schemes implemented and/or planned. All must be well studied with an abundance of data;
  • To develop an approach to include IOOS data and information on a continuous basis for sustainability of future NEEA updates;
  • To improve the eutrophication assessment method, e.g. modifications based on type-specific criteria acquired from case study results, analysis of load-response relationships and (where possible) examination of apportionment of loads for case study systems for recommendation of suitable management measures. Results will serve as a basis for nationwide analysis;
  • Maintain and improve the online data collection tool based on project results and to provide study results on the survey and other websites (i.e. http://ian.umces.edu/neea and http://www.eutro.org).

Timeframe

2006

Contact

Project Manager:
1305 East West Highway
SSMC-IV, N/SCI-1
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3020 x139

Related Projects

National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment: Type Classification of US estuaries

Reports & Publications