Clean Coastal Waters: Understanding and Reducing the Effects of Nutrient Pollution

Clean Coastal Waters: Understanding and Reducing the Effects of Nutrient Pollution

by National Academies Press, Ocean Studies Board, Water Science and Technology Board, National Research Council
     
 

ISBN-10: 0309069483

ISBN-13: 9780309069489

Pub. Date: 07/17/2000

Publisher: National Academies Press

Environmental problems in coastal ecosystems can sometimes be attributed to excess nutrients flowing from upstream watersheds into estuarine settings. This nutrient over-enrichment can result in toxic algal blooms, shellfish poisoning, coral reef destruction, and other harmful outcomes. All U.S. coasts show signs of nutrient over-enrichment, and scientists predict

Overview

Environmental problems in coastal ecosystems can sometimes be attributed to excess nutrients flowing from upstream watersheds into estuarine settings. This nutrient over-enrichment can result in toxic algal blooms, shellfish poisoning, coral reef destruction, and other harmful outcomes. All U.S. coasts show signs of nutrient over-enrichment, and scientists predict worsening problems in the years ahead.

Clean Coastal Waters explains technical aspects of nutrient over-enrichment and proposes both immediate local action by coastal managers and a longer-term national strategy incorporating policy design, classification of affected sites, law and regulation, coordination, and communication.

Highlighting the Gulf of Mexico's "Dead Zone," the Pfiesteria outbreak in a tributary of Chesapeake Bay, and other cases, the book explains how nutrients work in the environment, why nitrogen is important, how enrichment turns into over-enrichment, and why some environments are especially susceptible. Economic as well as ecological impacts are examined.

In addressing abatement strategies, the committee discusses the importance of monitoring sites, developing useful models of over-enrichment, and setting water quality goals. The book also reviews voluntary programs, mandatory controls, tax incentives, and other policy options for reducing the flow of nutrients from agricultural operations and other sources.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780309069489
Publisher:
National Academies Press
Publication date:
07/17/2000
Pages:
428
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Executive Summary 1(10)
I Introduction and Overview 11(52)
Understanding Nutrient Over-Enrichment: An Introduction
13(24)
Nutrient Over-Enrichment in Coastal Waters
14(2)
Purpose of This Study
16(4)
Why Is Nutrient Over-Enrichment a Problem?
20(17)
Combating Nutrient Over-Enrichment: Findings and Recommendations
37(26)
Developing a Nationwide Strategy to Address Nutrient Over-Enrichment
38(4)
A Recommended Approach for Local Managers
42(9)
Recommended Federal Actions
51(12)
II Understanding the Problem 63(132)
Which Nutrients Matter?
65(19)
Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Estuaries and Lakes
66(1)
Evidence for Nitrogen Limitation in Coastal Marine Ecosystems
67(5)
Mechanisms That Lead to Nitrogen Limitation in Coastal Marine Ecosystems
72(9)
The Importance of Silica and Iron in Coastal Systems
81(3)
What Are the Effects of Nutrient Over-Enrichment?
84(29)
Ecological Effects
85(18)
Economic Impacts
103(10)
Sources of Nutrient Inputs to Estuaries and Coastal Waters
113(50)
Wastewater and Nonpoint Source Inputs
119(2)
Disturbance, Nonpoint Nutrient Fluxes, and Baselines for Nutrient Exports from Pristine Systems
121(3)
Changes in Agricultural Production and Nonpoint Source Nutrient Pollution
124(15)
Processing of Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Wetlands, Streams, and Rivers
139(2)
Nutrient Fluxes to the Coast
141(6)
Insights from the Sparrow Model Applied to the National Scale
147(3)
Nutrient Budgets for Specific Estuaries and Coastal Waters
150(6)
Oceanic Waters as a Nutrient Source to Estuaries and Coastal Waters
156(4)
Implications for Achieving Source Reductions
160(3)
What Determines Susceptibility to Nutrient Over-Enrichment?
163(32)
Major Factors Influencing Estuarine Susceptibility to Nutrient Over-Enrichment
164(12)
Coastal Classification
176(1)
Geomorphic Classification
177(1)
Hydrodynamic Classification
177(1)
Habitat Classification
178(3)
Hybrid Classification
181(1)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Ocean Service Classification Schemes
182(5)
Next Steps
187(4)
Additional Questions
191(4)
III Understanding Abatement Strategies 195(116)
The Role of Monitoring and Modeling
197(40)
Introduction to Monitoring
201(1)
Elements of an Effective Monitoring Program
202(6)
Developing Quantitative Measures of Estuarine Conditions
208(2)
Developing Quantitative Measures of Watershed Conditions
210(3)
Controlling Costs
213(1)
Introduction to Modeling
214(11)
Watershed Management Models
225(2)
Estuarine and Coastal Models
227(3)
Other Relevant Models
230(3)
Recommendations
233(4)
Water Quality Goals
237(32)
Setting Goals
239(8)
Choosing a Policy Approach
247(18)
Steps in Developing Effective Water Quality Goals
265(4)
Source Reduction and Control
269(42)
Agricultural Sources
270(18)
Atmospheric Sources
288(5)
Urban Sources
293(9)
Other Mitigation Options
302(6)
Next Steps for Source Reduction
308(3)
References 311(84)
Appendixes
A Statement of Task and Committee and Staff Biographies
349(4)
B Acronyms and Abbreviations
353(3)
C Programmatic Approaches and Results of a Local Managers Questionaire
356(20)
Representative Federal Programs
357(5)
Federal Monitoring and Assessment Programs
362(6)
Management Strategies Addressing Coastal Eutrophication
368(1)
Results of a Managers Questionnaire
368(8)
D Model Reviews
376(16)
Watershed Models
376(1)
Process Models
377(5)
Spreadsheet Models
382(1)
Statistical Approaches
382(2)
Estuarine and Coastal Eutrophication Models
384(8)
E Related Websites
392(3)
Index 395

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