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DEVELOPMENT OF MARINE WATER QUALITY CRITERIA
Russo, R C. DEVELOPMENT OF MARINE WATER QUALITY CRITERIA. MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN 45(1-12):84-91, (2002).
Develop, test, and refine models to evaluate sub-basins to determine whether local water quality problems due to excessive nutrient loading exist, and if so, to characterize them and determine their relationships to nutrient loading. Develop models to simulate overland flow and non-point source pollutant loads to track and assess nutrient loadings across watersheds and provide approaches for estimating nutrient budgets within sub-basins and for predicting changes in nutrient budgets in response to changes in watershed activities/land use/land cover. Demonstrate the application of the recommended approach/models for predicting changes in nutrient budgets in response to changes in proposed watershed activities/land use/land cover, resulting in specific recommendations for reducing the nutrient loads to a basin. For coherence, cooperation, and economics, these models will be housed in a unified, consistent, computational environment for environmental analyses that allows teaching (i.e., technology transfer) to multiple users (users concentrate on problem, not model input/output); that appeals to multi-disciplinary groups for distribution and use as a consistent assessment methodology (includes models, tools, modular design and facilitated updates of science/engineering); that includes resident visualization, animation tools, documentation and tutorials on-line, hooks to GIS and environmental databases; and is executable on UNIX, personal computers, and HPC resources.
Objective # 2.2 Conserve and enhance nation's waters: By 2005, conserve and enhance the ecological health of the nation's (state, interstate, and tribal) waters and aquatic ecosystems-rivers and streams, lakes, wetlands, estuaries, coastal areas, oceans, and groundwater-so that 75% of waters will support healthy aquatic communities.
The U.S. Environmental Protectional Agency has developed guidelines for deriving numerical national water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic organisms and their uses. These guidelines provide the method for deriving water quality criteria, including minimum data base requirements, data evaluation procedures, and calculations. The guidelines have been in place for a long time, and states have used them to derive water quality standards for their waterbodies. More recent efforts have been directed towards the development of technical guidance based on the concept that bioassessment and biocriteria programs for estuaries and near coastal waters are interrelated and are critical components of comprehensive water resource protection and management. This is a holistic approach to protection and management, integrating biological assessments into traditional chemical and physical evaluations and augmenting the established water quality criteria. The method for deriving water quality criteria and the approach for biocriteria development for marine systems are described.