Partner Spotlight

Stormwater outfall assessment at Monponsett Ponds to address blue-green algae

Aerial photo of Monponsett Ponds, Halifax, MA. The algae is visible in the pond on the left
Aerial photo of Monponsett Ponds, Halifax, MA. The algae is visible in the pond on the left, Ted Broderick, Halifax Police Chief

The Halifax Board of Health is advancing a project to identify, map, and prioritize stormwater outfalls and other sources discharging to the East and West Monponsett Ponds. Over 20 outfalls are contributing pollutants to these ponds resulting in blue-green algae blooms in West Monponsett Pond. This pollution has resulted in closed beaches, fish kills, and warnings about the health effects of cyanobacteria. The Board of Health will identify the highest ranking outfalls and will develop preliminary designs for best management practices and low impact development projects to control these sources. The partners on this project include the Monponsett Watershed Association and the Massachusetts Division of Ecologic Restoration.

This project was funded through EPA’s Southeast New England Program. See the poster below by the Town of Halifax. See also Frank Carini’s article in ecoRI highlighting the Halifax project.

 

town of Halifax, MA SNEP poster 2016

Save The Bay – Examining how Ribbed Mussels help clean Narragansett Bay

Ribbed Mussel colleting at Save The Bay in Providence
Ribbed Mussel colleting at Save The Bay in Providence - The Estuary Program

In upper Narragansett Bay, Save The Bay completed a report on excess nutrients by experimenting with the use of ribbed mussels for bioextraction (Read the study here), a process that relies on the filter-feeders capacity to remove plankton and other nutrients from the water column. Nitrogen pollution in the bay leads to an overproduction of algae, which can reduce light infiltration, smother organisms, and lower local oxygen levels in the water when it decomposes.

The use of shellfish for restoration in polluted waters has been problematic because local people may eat contaminated shellfish, risking illness. However, by using ribbed mussels it circumvents this problem. This project was funded through EPA’s Southeast New England Program, see the poster below. (Also see a story on this project in the Watershed Counts 2015 Report).

 

Save The Bay ribbed mussels SNEP poster

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