What We Study:
- Understanding the role of nitrogen “sinks”, including riparian areas, streams and reservoirs, on the landscape reducing the export of nitrate from coastal watersheds.
- Understanding the role of watershed features and human activities on streamflow regimes.
Why do we study nitrate processing?
- Nitrate leaching to groundwater is greatly increased by human inputs, such as fertilizer use and leaking septic systems.
- There is evidence of high nitrate concentrations in groundwater all over the North East US.
- Excessive nitrogen (N) can cause unsightly algae blooms in coastal ponds and estuaries which consume available oxygen and cause other organisms to die.
- Great uncertainty surrounds N cycling within coastal watersheds. Not all N entering the watershed can be traced, leaving unidentified N sinks. The fate of the remainder N is a major challenge to coastal managers.