Year Established: 2013 Start Date: 2013-03-01 End Date: 2014-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $15,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $36,631
Principal Investigators: Alan Wilson
Abstract: Excessive nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, contribute to algal blooms,hypoxia, and in severe cases, fish kills, which results in costly impairments to drinking water,recreational opportunities, and fisheries. Nutrient criteria have been a key issue addressed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and guidance has been issued requesting states,territories, and tribes to implement nutrient criteria for different categories of waterbodies in an effort to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus impacts on our waterbodies. Research is necessary to allow for the development of nutrient criteria that will satisfy EPA national numeric nutrient criteria development goals and protect the beneficial uses of each individual waterbody. One such use is sport-fishing, which can generate millions of dollars annually to local economies. Sport fish productivity generally increases as waterbodies transition from oligotrophic to mesotrophic conditions but fish community structure may shift to less desirable species as a waterbody becomes eutrophic or hypereutrophic. If a waterbody has supported all of its uses, including being a source of potable water, recreation, and high-quality fisheries, nutrient criteria should be targeted to preserve these waterbody conditions. This project will address the Alabama Department of Environmental Managements (ADEM) rationale to establish nutrient criteria consistent with the national goal of the Clean Water Act related to waterbodies being fishable/swimmable.