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Identifying Hotspots of Sewage Pollution in Coastal Areas with Coral Reefs

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Title: Identifying Hotspots of Sewage Pollution in Coastal Areas with Coral Reefs
Authors: Abaya, Leilani Maijastina
Advisor: Wiegner, Tracy N.
Keywords: Environmental health
Biological oceanography
Chemical oceanography
Coral reefs
Fecal indicator bacteria
show 4 morePollution score
Stable nitrogen isotope
Water quality

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Issue Date: Aug 2016
Abstract: Sewage pollution threatens human and coral reef health. Study goals were to identify sewage pollution hotspots through dye tracer tests, measurements of sewage indicators, and development of a sewage pollution score, along Puakō’s (Hawaiʻi) reef. Sewage was localized within 10 m of the shoreline and reached it within 9 hours to 3 days. Shoreline nutrient concentrations were two times higher than upland groundwater. Sewage indicators were higher and more variable along the shoreline than on the reef, and often greater than water quality standards. Shoreline δ15N macroalgal values were indicative of sewage, while offshore values were indicative of soil or groundwater nitrate. A sewage pollution score was created using several indicators that accurately identified sewage pollution hotspots, as three dye tracer locations had the highest scores. Results highlight the need for a multi-indicator approach and scoring system for identifying sewage pollution hotspots to improve water quality.
Pages/Duration: 67 pages
Appears in Collections:Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science

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