SCCWRP and its partners have launched a three-year effort to develop nutrient loading and flow targets intended to reduce eutrophication in the Elkhorn Slough estuary that drains to Monterey Bay.
The project, launched in October, will serve as a key California case study for test-driving technical elements of a proposed State Water Board biostimulatory amendment that is intended to extend greater protections to estuaries statewide. The eutrophication-prone Elkhorn Slough estuary is limiting seagrass habitat and degrading the integrity of salt marshes.
Researchers will use an integrated toolkit of mechanistic computer models and empirical statistical models to simulate how flow, nutrients and temperature are influencing algal blooms and dissolved oxygen levels.
The goal is to demonstrate how to set nutrient loading and flow targets to curb algal blooms in the agriculture-dominated watershed.
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