Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2012CT256B

Field Testing the Educational and Land Use Planning Value of a New Nitrogen Modeling Tool in the Niantic River Watershed

Institute: Connecticut
Year Established: 2012 Start Date: 2012-03-01 End Date: 2014-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $18,686 Total Non-Federal Funds: $37,372

Principal Investigators: Juliana Barrett, Chester Arnold, Emily Wilson

Abstract: The University of Rhode Island, in collaboration with the University of Arizona and the UConn Center for Land Use Research and Education (CLEAR), has developed a prototype desktop GIS tool that models nitrogen sources and sinks for a given watershed. “N-Sink” is a simple GIS-based decision support tool designed to assist local decision makers and regulators in prioritizing nitrogen (N) source controls and management of sinks within a watershed. We propose to run N-Sink for the Niantic River Watershed, a small regional coastal basin in Southeastern Connecticut that is included in the regional Nitrogen Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Long Island Sound. This watershed has an approved Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) watershed management plan which lists nutrient loading (primarily nitrogen) as the most likely primary pollutant of concern. CLEAR geospatial educators will customize and run the N-Sink model for the Niantic, and Sea Grant/CLEAR water quality and coastal habitat educators will conduct workshops for land use decision makers, nonprofits organizations and other stakeholders in the four Niantic towns. The goals of this project are to develop and provide useful land and water management information to the towns of the Niantic watershed, and to test the usefulness and format of the N-Sink information for local decision-making purposes.