Developing effective restoration plans to tackle the widespread impairment of coastal swimming and shellfishing waters

Miller, Todd (2010) Developing effective restoration plans to tackle the widespread impairment of coastal swimming and shellfishing waters. In: Shifting Shorelines: Adapting to the Future,The 22nd International Conference of The Coastal Society , June 13-16, 2010 ,Wilmington, North Carolina,

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Official URL: http://nsgl.gso.uri.edu/coastalsociety/TCS22/paper...

Abstract

Congress established a legal imperative to restore the quality of our surface waters when it enacted the Clean Water Act in 1972. The act requires that existing uses of coastal waters such as swimming and shellfishing be protected and restored. Enforcement of this mandate is frequently measured in terms of the ability to swim and harvest shellfish in tidal creeks, rivers, sounds, bays, and ocean beaches. Public-health agencies carry out comprehensive water-quality sampling programs to check for bacteria contamination in coastal areas where swimming and shellfishing occur. Advisories that restrict swimming and shellfishing are issued when sampling indicates that bacteria concentrations exceed federal health standards. These actions place these coastal waters on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies’ (EPA) list of impaired waters, an action that triggers a federal mandate to prepare a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) analysis that should result in management plans that will restore degraded waters to their designated uses. When coastal waters become polluted, most people think that improper sewage treatment is to blame. Water-quality studies conducted over the past several decades have shown that improper sewage treatment is a relatively minor source of this impairment. In states like North Carolina, it is estimated that about 80 percent of the pollution flowing into coastal waters is carried there by contaminated surface runoff. Studies show this runoff is the result of significant hydrologic modifications of the natural coastal landscape. There was virtually no surface runoff occurring when the coastal landscape was natural in places such as North Carolina. Most rainfall soaked into the ground, evaporated, or was used by vegetation. Surface runoff is largely an artificial condition that is created when land uses harden and drain the landscape surfaces. Roofs, parking lots, roads, fields, and even yards all result in dramatic changes in the natural hydrology of these coastal lands, and generate huge amounts of runoff that flow over the land’s surface into nearby waterways. (PDF contains 3 pages)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Title: Developing effective restoration plans to tackle the widespread impairment of coastal swimming and shellfishing waters
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Miller, Toddtoddm@nccoast.org
Date: 2010
Funders: National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. EPA Coastal Management Branch, U.S. Geolgocial Survey, NOAA Sea Grant
Event Title: Shifting Shorelines: Adapting to the Future,The 22nd International Conference of The Coastal Society
Event Type: Conference
Event Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Event Dates: June 13-16, 2010
Issuing Agency: The Coastal Society
Uncontrolled Keywords: TCS22
Subjects: Conservation
Pollution
Sociology
Aquaculture
Environment
Item ID: 3937
Depositing User: Cynthia Murray
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2010 13:27
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 16:42
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/3937

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