Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015VI252B

Influences of Watersheds Inputs on Water Quality and Bioluminescent Dinoflagellates in Mangrove Lagoon, St. Croix, USVI

Institute: Virgin Islands
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $29,477 Total Non-Federal Funds: Not available

Principal Investigators: Bernard Castillo, James Pinckney, Kynoch Reale-Munroe

Abstract: Bioluminescent bays and lagoons, or biobays are a rare, natural phenomenon. Mangrove Lagoon, a shallow (< 4 m) and small (3.8 ha), year-round bioluminescent lagoon is located within Salt River Bay National and Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. The vibrant displays of light created by an elevated abundance of the bioluminescent dinoflagellate Pyrodinium bahamense makes it a very popular eco-tourism destination for locals and tourists alike. Salt River Bay was listed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved U.S. Virgin Islands’ 2012 list of impaired waters. Listed impairments included fecal coliform bacteria and turbidity, resulting from land development, erosion, sedimentation, urban runoff and storm sewers. Correlative relationships between daily rainfall, physical water quality parameters, nutrient loading and phytoplankton composition will provide insights into the effect of terrestrial runoff on the bioluminescent, Mangrove Lagoon.