In February 2011 the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO)
will be holding an Aquatic Science meeting in San Juan, PR. This conference will be bringing together the world’s leading scientists in fresh and marine water systems and will include 94 sessions detailing different aspects of those disciplines known as Limnology and Oceanography. Our chapter has submitted an abstract to present in Session 90 titled “Biological Contamination of Puerto Rican Streams and Coastal Waters: Sources, Fate, Monitoring, and Predictive Modeling.” Below is the abstract we submitted summarizing our water quality monitoring program within the 180 word limit. If our abstract is accepted we will be notified in December. Fingers crossed!
A COMMMUNITY-BASED PROGRAM FOCUSING ON FECAL POLLUTION MONITORING AND SOURCE IDENTIFICATION ON THE NORTHWEST COAST OF PUERTO RICO
A 17 month survey conducted in 2007⁄09 evaluated the level, frequency and distribution of fecal contamination of coastal recreational waters in Rincón, including those harboring endangered coral species within the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve. Weekly monitoring of 12 popular beaches along 18km of coastline showed two distinct trends: once local area rainfall was factored out 5% of the 74 testing dates showed transient Enterococci peaks with more than 75% of stations reporting colony forming units (CFU) >150⁄100ml of water suggesting marine current transport; and 3 stations nearest freshwater outflows were >35 CFU⁄100ml, the federal standard for recreational waters, 15-25% of the survey, indicating possible contamination from freshwater sources. Currently, an expanded monitoring program shows freshwater stations to be >400 CFU⁄100ml 75% of the testing period with certain stations consistently testing >1000 CFU⁄100ml. Investigation of transport vectors, and monitoring, will continue since such elevated levels of contamination could impose serious health risks to both resource users and the environment, including coral reefs. For that reason, source identification is a top priority towards solution-based implementation of watershed restoration.
For more information, or to volunteer to assist with this program, please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org Surfrider Foundation Rincon