Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) Newsletter
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This issue’s topics:
USGS Solute-Transport Methods to Estimate Time-Varying Nitrogen Loading Rates to the Peconic Estuary
The Peconic Estuary watershed has transitioned from a rural area dependent on agriculture and tourism to a suburban one with a larger year-round population. The area surrounding the Peconic Estuary was intensely farmed prior to suburbanization. Nitrogen loading from past fertilizer use was substantial as estimated from historical information and the continued detection of elevated concentrations attributed to legacy land uses. Likewise, the discharge of wastewater into the environment, primarily through onsite systems, has adversely affected both water supplies and surface waters. The objective of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study is to apply methods that will allow for the quantitative analysis of nitrogen loading rates to the Peconic Estuary resulting from wastewater and fertilizer inputs to groundwater.
Department of Environmental Conservation Releases Report on Eelgrass and Water Quality
Eelgrass is the principal meadow-forming seagrass in New York State waters. It provides critical support to ecosystems, improves the seabed, and is essential in coastal resiliency. In recent decades, the drastic decline in eelgrass has been attributed in part to water quality deterioration.
Peconic Estuary Seaweed Aquaculture Feasibility Study
The Peconic Estuary Seaweed Aquaculture Feasibility Study, funded by Suffolk County and implemented by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), evaluated the viability of seaweed aquaculture in portions of the Peconic Estuary. The study is important to LINAP as seaweed has the capacity to improve water quality by removing nitrogen (bioextraction), while producing a high demand, renewable product for food, feed, fertilizer or other uses.