Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2022_LA_White

Linking Watershed Phosphorus Discharge and Legacy sediment P to Climate Variability and Occurrence of Harmful Algal Blooms

Institute: Louisiana
USGS Grant Number:
Year Established: 2022 Start Date: 2022-09-01 End Date: 2025-08-31
Total Federal Funds: $201,945 Total Non-Federal Funds: $201,960

Principal Investigators: John R. White

Abstract: Nutrients from farms and wastewater end up in our waterways. Over time, the sediment in rivers, streams and lakes collects these nutrients. Phosphorus is one of the nutrients that can become high in the sediments. Over time, this phosphorus can leak out of the sediment into the water column. Combined with runoff, the high phosphorus concentrations in surface water can trigger Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). These microscopic organisms naturally secrete toxins into the water and these toxins can be harmful to fish, accumulate in clams and affect human health. This proposal is designed to find various phosphorus forms in the sediment and determine how much is released to the water. The project will also look at historical data to look at how changes in climate, for example changes in precipitation, can affect the phosphorus reaching Lake Pontchartrain, LA and be used to predict future conditions favoring HABs.