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How a clogged canal effects ecological and human health in a tropical urban wetland ecosystem
Oczkowski, A., E. Santos, C. Wigand, Alana Hanson, E. Huertas, AND R. Martin. How a clogged canal effects ecological and human health in a tropical urban wetland ecosystem. Society for Wetland Scientists (SWS) Annual Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 05 - 08, 2017.
I would like to present at a Society for Wetlands Scientists meeting on the preliminary results of a study designed to assess the ecological impact of a closed canal on the San Juan Bay Estuary and associated wetland and urban communities.
The coastal city of San Juan, Puerto Rico is a tropical urban ecosystem interwoven among a series of interconnected bays, lagoons, canals, and mangrove wetlands. As the city has expanded, infilling and urban encroachment on what was previously mangrove wetland and open estuarine water has severely reduced flushing of the San Juan Bay Estuary. In one area in particular, a channel that was 200 feet wide in the last century, has essentially been dammed. As a result, the adjacent low lying urban communities and mangrove wetlands experience frequent flooding by a potent mixture of stormwater and raw sewage. Local monitoring efforts have counted fecal coliform levels >40,000 CFU per 100 ml in the channel and >4,500 CFU per 100 ml in the adjacent lagoons. These levels are two- to three-fold greater than EPA recommendations. We are attempting to document how reduced flushing and poor water quality are impacting the ecology of the mangrove and lagoonal ecosystems. We are using a combination of stable isotope measurements of the ecosystem components and retrospective analyses to identify how the urban wetlands and estuary function. Our stable isotope analyses suggest that, despite the heavy enrichment by urban runoff and sewage, the microbial community in the wetland portion of the ecosystem is actively fixing nitrogen.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION
WATERSHED DIAGNOSTICS BRANCH