2002 Progress Report: Changes in Water Conditions and Sedimentation Rates Associated With Construction of the Mobile Bay Causeway

EPA Grant Number: R827072C024
Subproject: this is subproject number 024 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R827072
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Alabama Center For Estuarine Studies (ACES)
Center Director: Shipp, Robert L.
Title: Changes in Water Conditions and Sedimentation Rates Associated With Construction of the Mobile Bay Causeway
Investigators: Fearn, Miriam , Haywick, Douglas , Sanders, Justin
Institution: University of South Alabama
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: October 1, 2001 through January 31, 2003
Project Period Covered by this Report: October 1, 2001 through January 31, 2002
RFA: Alabama Center For Estuarine Studies (ACES) (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Targeted Research


This research focuses on Chocalata Bay, a floodbasin now isolated from the larger estuary of Mobile Bay by the Mobile Bay Causeway. Sediment cores from selected locations to the north and south of the Causeway are used to give information on pre- and postconstruction conditions in and around Chocalata Bay that can help decision makers to determine the best course of action to take in mitigating the environmental impact of the Causeway. The objectives of this research project are to use: (1) diatom analysis as an indicator of water conditions; (2) pollen and phytoliths as indicators of vegetation change; (3) grain-size analysis as an indicator of energy conditions; and (4) Cesium 137 (Cs-137), Lead-210, and Carbon-14 to provide dating control for critical horizons in the cores. This work provides research experiences for undergraduate/graduate students in geography, geology, physics, biology, and marine sciences. This work provides research experiences for undergraduate/graduate students in geography, geology, physics, biology, and marine sciences.

Progress Summary:

Much of the field work was accomplished during the summer of 2002. At least three sediment cores were taken at each of four sites in Chocalata Bay. The longest core (190 cm) was retrieved from the northernmost site. Cores in Chocalata Bay north of the Causeway are at least 1 m long; those south of the Causeway are slightly shorter. One graduate student participated in the field work. Six undergraduate students (one from physics, two from biology, two from geography, and one from geology) currently are in training to work on this project during the spring and summer of 2003.

Future Activities:

In 2003, we will concentrate on analyzing the sediment cores for microfossils, grain size, and Cs-137. One additional site in the marsh will be cored this year. Fall submission of abstracts for poster presentations by students involved in the research also is a prime objective for 2003.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 5 publications for this subproject

Supplemental Keywords:

Cesium-137, Cs-137, Lead-210, Carbon-14, geography, geology, physics, biology, marine, sediment cores, microfossils, grain size, ecosystem, ecosystem protection, ecology, ecological effects, ecological indicators, environmental exposure, water, water use, aquatic ecosystem, coastal ecosystem, coastal environments, estuary, estuaries, estuarine research, estuarine waters, environmental chemistry, chemistry, chemical engineering, risk, assessment, indicators, Alabama, AL, Region 4, human modifications., RFA, Scientific Discipline, ECOSYSTEMS, Water, Geographic Area, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecology, Aquatic Ecosystems & Estuarine Research, estuarine research, Environmental Chemistry, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, Soils, State, Chemistry, Restoration, Aquatic Ecosystem, Aquatic Ecosystems, Terrestrial Ecosystems, Ecological Monitoring, Ecology and Ecosystems, Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, coastal ecosystem, wetlands, estuaries, watersheds, erosion, shorelines, waves, Alabama (AL), coastal environments, anthropogenic impact, wetland stabilization, wind-wave models, ecosystem, environmental indicators, estuarine waters, water quality, human modifications, sediment dynamics, breakwaters

Relevant Websites:

http://www.southalabama.edu/aces/ Exit
http://www.usouthal.edu/geography/fearn/Causeway.htm Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R827072    Alabama Center For Estuarine Studies (ACES)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R827072C001 Fluorescent Whitening Agents As Facile Pollution Markers In Shellfishing Waters
    R827072C002 Red Snapper Demographics on Artificial Reefs: The Effect of Nearest-Neighbor Dynamics
    R827072C003 Stabilization of Eroding Shorelines in Estuarine Wave Eliminates with Constructed Fringe Wetlands Incorporating Offshore Breakwaters
    R827072C004 Interaction Between Water Column Structure and Reproduction in Jellyfish Populations Of Mobile Bay (SGER)
    R827072C005 Effects of Variation in River Discharge and Wind-Driven Resuspension on Higher Trophic Levels in the Mobile Bay Ecosystem
    R827072C006 Results of Zooplankton Component
    R827072C007 Benthic Study Component
    R827072C008 A Preliminary Survey of Macroalgal and Aquatic Plant Distribution in the Mobile Tensaw Delta
    R827072C009 Fisheries-induced changes in the structure and function of shallow water "nursery habitats": an experimental assessment
    R827072C010 Effects Of Variation in River Discharge and Wind-Driven Resuspension on Lower Trophic Levels of the Mobile Bay Ecosystem
    R827072C011 Evaluation of Alabama Estuaries as Developmental Habitat for Juvenile Sea Turtles
    R827072C012 Effects of Salinity Stress on Natural and Anthropogenically-Derived Bacteria in Estuarine Environments
    R827072C013 The Role of Land-Use/Land-Cover and Sub-estuarine Ecosystem Nitrogen Cycling in the Regulation of Nitrogen Delivery to a River Dominated Estuary; Mobile Bay, Alabama
    R827072C014 Environmental Attitudes of Alabama Coastal Residents: Public Opinion Polls and Environmental Policy
    R827072C015 Synthesis and Characterization of an Electrochemical Peptide Nucleic Acid Probe
    R827072C016 Determinants of Small-Scale Variation in the Abundance of the Blue Crab Callinectes Sapidus
    R827072C017 Effects of Estrogen Pollution on the Reproductive Fitness of the Gulf Pipefish, Syngnathus scovelli
    R827072C019 A Model for Genetic Diversity Aquatic Insects of the Mobile/Tensaw River Delta
    R827072C020 Evaluating Trophic Processes as Indicators of Anthropogenic Eutrophication in Coastal Ecosystems: An Exploratory Analysis
    R827072C021 Effects of Anthropogenic Eutrophication on the Magnitude and Trophic Fate of Microphytobenthic Production in Estuaries
    R827072C022 Characteristics of Ship Waves and Wind Waves in Mobile Bay
    R827072C023 Methods Comparison Between Stripping Voltammetry and Plasma Emission Spectroscopy for Metals in Mobile Bay
    R827072C024 Changes in Water Conditions and Sedimentation Rates Associated With Construction of the Mobile Bay Causeway
    R827072C025 Cold-Induced Hibernation of Marine Vibrios in the Gulf of Mexico: A Study of Cell-Cell Communication and Dormancy in Vibrio vulnificus
    R827072C026 Holocene Sedimentary History of Weeks Bay, AL: Human and Natural Impacts on Deposition in a Gulf Coast Estuary
    R827072C027 Shelter Bottlenecks and Self-Regulation in Blue Crab Populations: Assessing the Roles of Nursery Habitats and Juvenile Interactions for Shelter Dependent Organisms
    R827072C028 Predicting Seagrass Survival in Nutrient Enriched Waters: Toward a New View of an Existing Paradigm
    R827072C029 DMSP and its Role as an Antioxidant in the Salt Marsh Macrophyte Spartina alterniflora
    R827072C030 A Preliminary Survey of Aerial and Ground-Dwelling Insects of the Mobile/Tensaw Delta
    R827072C031 Natural Biogeochemical Tags of Striped Mullet, Mugil cephalus, Estuarine Nursery Areas in the North Central Gulf of Mexico
    R827072C032 Resolution of Sedimentation Rates in Impacted Coastal Environments Using 137Cs and 210Pb Markers: Dog River and Fowl River Embayments
    R827072C033 Investigation of the Use of Pulse Amplitude Modulated (PAM) Fluorometry as an Indicator of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Health in Mobile Bay
    R827072C034 Influence of Invasive Plant Species in Determining Diversity of Aquatic Vegetation in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta
    R827072C035 The Influence of Shallow Water Hydrodynamics on the Importance of Seagrass Detritus in Estuarine Food Webs
    R827072C036 Food Web Interactions, Spatial Subsidies and the Flow of Energy Between the Mobile Bay Delta and Offshore Waters: A SGER Proposal to the Alabama Center for Estuarine Studies
    R830651C001 Meteorological Modeling of Hurricanes and Coastal Interactions: A Stability Study For Vertical Pressure Levels
    R830651C002 Characterization of Glycoprotein Cues Used by the Parasitic Rhizocephalan Barnacle Loxothylacus texanus To Identify Its Blue Crab Host, Callinectes sapidus
    R830651C003 Survey of Diamondback Terrapin Populations in Alabama Estuaries
    R830651C004 An Assessment of Environmental Contaminant Levels in Water and Dragonfly Larvae Tissues from the Mobile/Tensaw Delta