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Nitrogen Loading to the South Shore, Eastern Bays, NY: Sources, Impacts, and Management Options

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dc.contributor.advisor Gobler, Christopher en_US
dc.contributor.author Stinnette, Isabelle en_US
dc.contributor.other Department of Marine and Atmospheric Science. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2017-09-18T23:49:49Z
dc.date.available 2017-09-18T23:49:49Z
dc.date.issued 2014-12-01
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11401/76021 en_US
dc.description 85 pg. en_US
dc.description.abstract The excessive delivery of nitrogen from land into coastal waters can lead to a host of environmental problems including algal blooms, hypoxic zones, habitat loss, and acidification. While many of these environmental problems have manifested themselves within Long Island's coastal bays, the quantity and sources of nitrogen are largely unknown in much of this region, making the development of effective management plans to ameliorate these problems exceedingly difficult. This study was designed to quantify nitrogen loads and sources to Moriches, Quantuck and Shinnecock Bays within the eastern extent of Long Island's South Shore Estuary Reserve. Further this study assessed water quality within the bays as well as nitrogen mitigation scenarios tailored to the adjacent land on a subwatershed level. Two established nitrogen loading models were used to quantify nitrogen loads to each subwatershed as well as the relative contribution of each source (fertilizer, wastewater, and atmosphere) and transport mechanism (ground water, streams and runoff). Marine water quality data was compared to nitrogen loading rates and water residence times. Finally, the effectiveness of various nitrogen mitigation scenarios including changes in land use and wastewater handling was assessed within the models. Nitrogen loads per hectare of waterbody to these three bays were moderate compared to other estuaries but were in the high range when loads were assessed on the basis of volume of waterbody. Over the entire study site, the relative contributions of wastewater, fertilizer, and atmospheric deposition to the total N loads from land were 65%, 20%, and 15%, respectively. Groundwater was responsible for the transport of > 90% of the nitrogen load in all but one of the subwatersheds, while stream and runoff delivery of N was small. The western portion of Moriches Bay including the Forge River estuary and Quantuck Bay were two of the areas of the bay with the largest N loads on a per volume basis, the longest residence times, and poorest water quality with regard to algal blooms, dissolved oxygen, and water clarity. As such, this thesis identified slow residence times as a key factor that, coupled with elevated N loads, drives poor water quality in coastal ecosystems. As wastewater was the major source of N to the estuaries studied here, connecting homes to a sewage treatment plant, upgrading septic systems and controlling future build-out were identified as managerial efforts that could reduce nitrogen loads to these vulnerable areas of the bay by up to 70%. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This work is sponsored by the Stony Brook University Graduate School in compliance with the requirements for completion of degree. en_US
dc.format Monograph en_US
dc.format.medium Electronic Resource en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher The Graduate School, Stony Brook University: Stony Brook, NY. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Biological oceanography en_US
dc.subject.other loading, Moriches, nitrogen, Shinnecock, Suffolk, wastewater en_US
dc.title Nitrogen Loading to the South Shore, Eastern Bays, NY: Sources, Impacts, and Management Options en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.mimetype Application/PDF en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Swanson, Larry en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Lopez, Glen. en_US


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