Water You Waiting For? Assessment of Water Quality across Two Divergent Coastal Watersheds

Lisa Pinney, Sacred Heart University
Kim D'Adamo, Sacred Heart University
Elizabeth Bouchard, Sacred Heart University

Eastern Colleges Science Conference, Wilkes-Barre, PA April 2017. B-26. Program retrieved from http://www.ecsc1.org/2017.html

Mentored by Mark Beekey,


Coastal zones are among the world's most diverse and productive environments; they encompass a broad range of habitat types and harbor a rich and diverse array of organisms that provide ecosystem services that are critical to the livelihoods of people living in coastal zones. Understanding how human developments affects these coastal zones allows for the sustainable development of coastal resources with respect to future changes in land use and tourism. Comparing water quality indices between adjacent coastal watersheds that differ in land use and population densities allows for the investigation into these human influences. We conducted a comparative analysis of water quality indices across two divergent coastal watersheds (Dingle and Ballyferriter) on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. Dingle and Ballyferriter differ with respect to land use patterns and population densities. Preliminary analyses indicate yearly and seasonal differences between watersheds with respect to nitrate and phosphate load. In general, nutrient concentrations were higher in Dingle than in Ballyferriter. Species diversity within nearshore fish assemblages was also investigated across watersheds. Species diversity and abundance was greater in Dingle compared to Ballyferriter. We discuss these results with respect to land use patterns and population density.