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Land use practices, subterranean groundwater pollution, and coral reef sustainability

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Funding Year: 2005

Research Areas: Freshwater, Oceans

Regions: North America

We propose to apply an innovative, interdisciplinary approach that combines remote sensing, GIS, geochemical, hydrological and biological techniques, to explore the effect of different land-use practices on non-point source pollutants associated with submarine groundwater discharge into the coastal environment, and their effect on coral reef health and sustainability. A key to this approach is determining the flux of submarine groundwater to the coast, as well as its associated nutrient and other pollutant loads, and to determine if there is a relationship between these inputs, onshore land cover, land-use and watershed characteristics, and measures of coral reef health. The latter will be assessed by documenting herbivory, coral cover and diversity, and pollutant levels in coral mucus. We will also conduct a risk analysis and suggest potential solutions to curtail harmful SGD.

Learn more about the Environmental Venture Projects grant program and other funded projects.

Principal Investigators:

Alexandria Boehm, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment

Adina Paytan

Greg Asner

Margaret Caldwell, Senior Lecturer in Law and at the Woods Institute for the Environment

Richard Luthy, Silas H. Palmer Professor of Civil Engineering

Fio Micheli, David and Lucile Packard Professor of Marine Science and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment

Steve Palumbi, Jane and Marshall Steel Jr. Professor in Marine Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment

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