Project Title: Assessing trends on watershed and stormwater nitrogen loading and vulnerabilities in meeting TMDLs in Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod.
Principal Investigator(s): Ivan Valiela, Dani Hanacek
Affiliations: Marine Biological Laboratory- The Ecosystems Center
Summary: This project aims to better define relationships between watershed loading and estuary water quality in the Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod region through intensive work in selected estuaries, aimed at defining how water quality is affected by decadal shifts in land use and climate variables; and broad regional studies to expand the spatial and decadal range of application of the detailed studies. Our objective is to define links between N loads from shifting land use and atmospheric deposition for the region and water quality indicators in selected receiving estuaries. To achieve this goal, we will evaluate how changing climate drivers (increased rainfall, lowered nitrogen concentrations in deposition, and higher temperatures) alter timing and amount of N discharged from watersheds to receiving estuaries. Waquoit Bay’s range in N loads will serve as a wider context within which to place data from other local estuaries.