Implementation of the Clean Water Act has allowed for significant improvement in the coastal water quality of the New York-New Jersey region, resulting in the restoration of many historical uses and functions of these waters. Despite this success, coastal water quality problems remain and additional actions are needed to fully restore coastal waters. Many waters experience periodic harmful algal blooms and declining trends in submerged aquatic vegetation and desirable fish and shellfish species.
Nutrient over-enrichment of coastal, shallow water embayments in New York and New Jersey leads to eutrophic conditions in those waters. Enriched nutrients in bay waters promote the growth of opportunistic organisms, such as certain species of phytoplankton and macroalgae. Due to the complex relationship among nutrient loads, ambient water column concentrations, and environmental fate and effects, the development of additional or alternative nutrient criteria and management scenarios is needed for these systems.
NEIWPCC is supporting the development of site-specific nutrient management plans, including the determination of appropriate numeric criteria or endpoints for one or more coastal bay systems in the New York-New Jersey area. Projects will facilitate the understanding of fate and effects and the implementation of management measures to reach the desired ecological endpoints, and may include loading studies for target nutrients. All projects will be linked to existing management plans and be conducted in consultation with management conferences for applicable estuaries and coastal waters. Further, projects will be consistent with state efforts, needs, and priorities for these areas.
For more information on this project, contact Dan Peckham, project manager.