Sediment quality study examines how to protect coastal estuaries from eutrophication

Posted February 4, 2022

SCCWRP and its partners have completed a two-year sediment quality study examining how to protect bottom-dwelling aquatic life in coastal estuaries from excess organic matter triggered by eutrophication.

The study, completed in January using data from the Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program, investigated the relationship between the deposition of organic matter in sediment and the biological diversity of benthic invertebrate communities. Eutrophication triggers production of excess organic matter that eventually settles in sediment.

Researchers identified the levels of organic nitrogen – a measure of organic matter – at which benthic habitat quality rapidly declines.

The study is expected to help form the technical underpinnings of a planned State Water Board biointegrity-biostimulatory policy to protect the health of coastal estuaries statewide.

More news related to: Eutrophication, Regional Monitoring, Sediment Quality, Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program