Water quality trends in Narragansett Bay over a ten-year period

Nadia Moss


Narragansett Bay is home to thousands of marine and terrestrial species. Unfortunately, these species are threatened by declining water quality. We used data published by Narragansett Bay Commission to examine the trends of salinity, pH, and water temperature from 2008 to 2018. We used data from June, July, and August of each year as well as collected our own measurements throughout the summer. We found that for each of the bay sampling sites, water temperature and salinity increased while pH decreased over the ten year period. We also found that the sites in the Northern part of Bay had a lower temperature than sites in the southern part of the bay. We also saw a strong gradient in salinity, with levels increasing from North to South. The results were expected and suggest that the water quality will continue to decline in the future and create unhealthy habitats. These trends can be used to help scientists form legislation to help protect the Bay and its species. In the future, the water quality should continue to be monitored in order to see if conservation efforts are helping.