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Research2019-10-10T17:26:36+00:00

The American Water Security Project’s science and infrastructure advisory panel are at the cutting edge of wastewater treatment, human pathogenic, and ecosystems science. In an effort to demystify the effects of wastewater on human health and ecosystems, the science and infrastructure advisory panel will share science that helps inform our policy and educates our grassroots and grasstops advocates.

Florida Coral Reefs and Invasive Seaweeds

Are native and indigenous seaweeds overgrowing Florida’s east coast reefs?

Are native and indigenous seaweeds overgrowing Florida's east coast reefs? Macroalgal blooms can produce undesirable ecological and economic consequences. They can be especially damaging to coral reefs where macroalgae overgrow and replace these animals. The resulting reduction in biological diversity lowers habitat quality and aesthetics, which can cause decreases in fisheries production and tourism. Macroalgal blooms also overgrow seagrasses resulting in similar effects. In addition, when macroalgae respire [...]

Florida Water Policy – Springs Protections

A brief summary of the water bill, SB 522

A brief summary of the water bill, SB 522 Created by the 2016 Florida Water Bill, its aim is to protect and restore flows and water quality in the state’s Outstanding Florida Springs (OFS), which are defined as the 33 first-magnitude springs in the state as well as 6 second-magnitude springs (Figure 1). This legislation: Gives the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) authority to initiate emergency rulemaking [...]

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

The future of Harmful Algal Blooms in Florida inland and coastal waters

The future of Harmful Algal Blooms in Florida inland and coastal waters Algae blooms are common in Florida lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and estuaries. Sometimes blooms are beneficial. They are comprised of algae that provide essential food for shellfish and microscopic animals in the water, which in turn are eaten by fish. They also feed oysters, which build reefs that provide essential habitat. Sometimes, blooms can become harmful [...]

Nutrient over-enrichment

Nutrients and Florida’s coastal waters

Nutrients and Florida's coastal waters Coastal aquatic systems, including estuarine and marine nearshore environments, deserve our attention for three key reasons. First, healthy coastal systems provide homes and food for numerous plants and animals. Second, we use these systems extensively for commercial and recreational activities, and third, both our coastal and inland activities can pose threats to the health of coastal aquatic systems. One of the primary ways [...]

Restoring Florida’s Estuaries

Wastewater in Florida Coastal Waters

Septic systems contribute to nutrient pollution and harmful algal blooms in the St. Lucie Estuary, Southeast Florida, USA

Septic systems contribute to nutrient pollution and harmful algal blooms in the St. Lucie Estuary, Southeast Florida, USA Nutrient enrichment is a significant global-scale driver of change in coastal waters, contributing to an array of problems in coastal ecosystems. The St. Lucie Estuary (SLE) in southeast Florida has received national attention as a result of its poor water quality (elevated nutrient concentrations and fecal bacteria counts), recurring toxic Microcystis aeruginosa blooms, [...]

Widespread sewage pollution of the Indian River Lagoon system, Florida (USA) resolved by spatial analyses of macroalgal biogeochemistry

Widespread sewage pollution of the Indian River Lagoon system, Florida (USA) resolved by spatial analyses of macroalgal biogeochemistry The Indian River Lagoon (IRL) system, a poorly flushed 240 km long estuary in east-central Florida (USA), previously received 200 MLD of point source municipal wastewater that was largely mitigated by the mid-1990’s. Since then, non-point source loads, including septic tank effluent, have become more important. Seventy sites were sampled for [...]

Wastewater & Water Reuse

Recovering sustainable water from wastewater

Recovering sustainable water from wastewater From water sources needs to be in balance with the rate of renewal or replenishment. At the same time, water quality must also be sustainable or recoverable. In nature, precipitation replenishes surface water supplies and recharges groundwater. However, urbanization, agriculture, dams and reser- voirs, and other shifts in land-use patterns are altering the rate, ex- tent, and spatial distribution of freshwater consumption and replenishment. [...]