Team is Funded to Assess Sewering’s Impact on Coastal Water Quality

Denna Ahmed of Amherst College taking samples of groundwater from Little Pond for her research project in the MBL's Semester in Environmental Science program. Credit: Ken Foreman

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Sea Grant has announced funding for five new research projects that address pressing coastal issues in and around Massachusetts, including eelgrass restoration, sewering’s impact on water quality, contaminants of emerging concern in watersheds, collaborative data collection with fishermen, and homeowners’ perceptions of flood risk.

One of the projects will be conducted by two MBL scientists, with a collaborator from WHOI:

Reduce, Restore, Recover: Little Pond Ecosystem’s Response to Sewering
Over the last 70 years, Cape Cod has seen rapid population growth and minimal investment in wastewater infrastructure. This has added significant amounts of nitrogen to the local watersheds. In 2016, the town of Falmouth, Mass., installed a sewer system near Little Pond, dramatically reducing the amount of nitrogen reaching the ecosystem. Researchers Ken Foreman (Marine Biological Laboratory), Ketil Koop-Jackobson (Marine Biological Laboratory), and Matt Long (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) will measure and assess how nutrients flow into and through the Little Pond estuary to understand how coastal ecosystems respond to these changes. 

Read more about the projects here.