Thursday, October 9, 2014

EPA: Nitrogen pollution declining in Long Island Sound


For the second summer in a row, concentrations of dissolved oxygen in Long Island Sound are higher than the long-term average, indicating improved water quality and improved ecological conditions for organisms that live in the Sound, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
has announced.

In a news release the EPA says:

"Aquatic animals rely on oxygen that is dissolved in water to survive. When dissolved oxygen levels decline, this can cause some animals to move away, weaken, or even die. Low dissolved oxygen can occur when nutrients such as nitrogen enter a water body in excess, over stimulating plant growth.

"Nutrients such as nitrogen can enter a water body through discharges of sewage and from fertilizer runoff. In recent years, Connecticut and New York State have worked with the EPA to implement a nitrogen pollution reduction plan to improve the Sound’s dissolved oxygen levels, and to protect aquatic animals and public health. Much of the improvements in water quality is attributable to wastewater treatment facility upgrades and other measures are reducing nitrogen pollution to the Long Island Sound."

   Assistants aboard the research vessel John Dempsey deploy a rosette
sampler to collect water quality samples.Photo by Lloyd Langevin.

“The work New York, Connecticut, local governments and the EPA have done to build and upgrade sewage treatment plants has significantly reduced the nitrogen going into Long Island Sound,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Region 2 Administrator.

“We need to make financial investments in sewage treatment plants, and work to reduce pollution from septic systems and fertilizers, which also degrade water quality in Long Island Sound.”

Read the full news release here 


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