NCWRA September 2020 Webinar

September 21, 2020
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
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Webinar - Zoom


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Thanks to our sponsor YSI, a Xylem Brand, for their generous support of this webinar!

On the Hunt of Cyanotoxins in North Carolina Waters

Speaker: Astrid Schnetzer, Associate professor, Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at NC State University

Description: Awareness of exposure risks to cyanobacterial toxins through drinking water, recreation and food has risen dramatically, continuing to bring Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (CyanoHABs) to the center of media reports. CyanoHABs adversely affect freshwater lakes and reservoirs as excess biomass leads to discoloration, odor issues, decreased oxygen levels and, in some cases, fish kills. Furthermore, cyanobacteria (or blue-green algae) produce various types of cyanotoxins including hepatotoxins, neurotoxins, cytotoxins and/or gastrointestinal toxins that have severe short- and long-term health effects from tingling and burning, to respiratory failure and death. Problems associated with CyanoHABs have been linked to periods of increased water temperature (climate variability) and increasing nutrient loading which may favor taxa shifts from non-toxic to toxic cyanobacteria. For most states, including North Carolina, major knowledge gaps remain on what cyanotoxins are present and when. This study is an overview of our state of knowledge on CyanoHABs in NC aquatic systems including Jordan Lake. 

Assessing the Potential for Watershed Nutrient Management to Reverse Eutrophication in Jordan Lake

Speaker: Dan Obenour, Associate Professor, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at NC State University

Description: Jordan Lake is an important water supply and recreational reservoir in North Carolina that is subject to excessive algal production dominated by cyanobacteria in summers. In this study, we perform water quality modeling to assess how changes in nutrient loading will affect reservoir algal production in both the near and long term.  The modeling considers how external (watershed) nutrient loading, together with internal nutrient storage and cycling, contributes to water quality outcomes.  Further, data-driven watershed modeling is used to assess nitrogen and phosphorus source loading rates and transport to the reservoir.  Together, these models provide insights into the effectiveness of various watershed management strategies.  This research was sponsored by the NC Policy Collaboratory.

 

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