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

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.

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North America
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