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Little Lagoon Preservation Society

Little Lagoon Preservation Society

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Little Lagoon Preservation Society

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  1. Little Lagoon Preservation Society Water Quality Initiatives

  2. What are we doing ? • Little Lagoon is a unique body of water that all of us enjoy in a variety of ways. Swimming, fishing and boating are just a few of the activities that we enjoy. • But we also have stewardship over a precious resource that needs to be preserved. • We have begun to work with the scientists from Dauphin Island Research Center, as well as some of the NOAA programs, to understand the challenges and create programs to keep Little Lagoon healthy.

  3. How do we do this ? • We have begun to sample the water in four strategic locations. • The samples are processed and the data collected is shared with the scientific community. • There are two major areas of focus • Water Quality (Chemical and Bacteriological) • Phytoplankton and Microorganisms • Once we have baselines, we can clearly spot trends in the quality and make better decisions on preservation.

  4. We have Help, and we need to thank some special people • Dr Hugh MacIntyre and the scientists at Dauphin Island Sea Lab. He and his team have provided expertise and equipment to make this successful. • Allison Sill, Program Coordinator, Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN) who in addition to running an excellent class, found a way to get us a MIC-D a bit out of order !

  5. And of course, our Volunteers! • Back to school for Training on Water Chemistry and Sampling • Training on Phytoplankton • Hours of collection and processing time

  6. Building a base line, Watching for trends • The concept is simple; Create a baseline of chemical and biological information so we can assess the health • Samples collected every 2 weeks • Measurements are taken and recorded • Samples are filtered and packaged for Sea Lab • Phytoplankton are identified and counted • Once we have baselines, we can make better decisions

  7. Water Quality Speakers Agenda

  8. Phytoplankton – Finding the Evil Princess or a Tootsie RollLucie Novoveska

  9. What are phytoplankton ? • Phytoplankton are microscopic plants that live in the ocean. There are many species of phytoplankton, each of which has a unique shape. • Phytoplankton grow abundantly in oceans around the world and are the foundation of the marine food chain. • Phytoplankton depend upon certain conditions for growth and they are a good indicator of change in their environment. • For these reasons, and because they also exert a global-scale influence on climate, phytoplankton are of primary interest to oceanographers and Earth scientists around the world.

  10. Moving up the Food Chain • Problems at the bottom of the food chain, affect the top, but magnified by 10 • Knowing the condition of the Phytoplankton will help us identify a change

  11. Red TideFish Kill Caused by Karenia brevis Toxin: Brevetoxin

  12. Human Illness Associated with Harmful Algae • Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning (NSP) BrevetoxinKarenia brevis • Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) Domoic acidPseudo-nitzschia sp. • Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP) Ciguatoxin/MaitotoxinGambierdiscus toxicus • Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) Okadaic acidDinophysis sp. • Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) Saxitoxins Alexandrium sp.

  13. Mahogany Tide:Hypoxia Caused by Prorocentrum Bloom Density: 1.4 billion cells/liter

  14. What causes these blooms? Light Temperature Nutrients Eutrophication- increasing nutrients in a system • Pollution • Agricultural runoff- high nitrogen containing fertilizers • The increased input of nutrients leads to an • enrichment of nitrogen and phosphorus relative • to silica. This decreases the Si/N ratio favoring • Pseudo nitzschia blooms (Bates et al, 1998)

  15. ASP-Domoic Acid Poisoning • Toxin produced by diatom Pseudo-nitzschia • Both gastrointestinal and neurological disorder • In humans symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, • diarrhea and dizziness, headache, seizures, disorientation, short-term • memory loss, respiratory difficulty, coma, and death • In seal lions, birds, and dolphins- vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, • disorientation, scratching, seizures, coma, and death

  16. Episodes of human, marine mammal, and sea bird mortality events • 1987- human poisoning event, Prince Edward Island, 107 people ill and four dead • 1988- toxin traced to Pseudo-nitzschia • 1991 and 1992- bird kills, Pelicans and Cormorants in Monterey Bay • 1991 and 1992- contamination of Washington razor clams and Dungeness crab in California • 1998- Sea lion deaths in central California • 2002- Santa Catalina Island- Sea Lion deaths

  17. April 29, 2005 September 16, 2005

  18. Southeast Phytoplankton Monitoring Network Northern Gulf of Mexico Region SEPMN is an outreach program with the ultimate goal of linking laboratory scientists to the general public. Traditionally scientists rarely interacted with the public they serve. • To monitor area along the coast throughout the year • To identify general trends, such as time and area, where blooms occur • To promote increased awareness and education to the public • To create a working relationship between volunteers and researchers SEPMN web site:

  19. LLPS Volunteers Efforts • LLPS monitors 4 sites bi-weekly • water quality • E.coli counts • phytoplankton counts Evil Princess and Tootsie Roll Dinoflagellate- Dinophysis sp, Diatom- Ditylum

  20. Phytoplankton in Little Lagoon Pleurosigma Pseudo-nitzschia Nitzschia Chaetoceros Prorocentrum Pyrophacus Guinardia Protoperidinium

  21. Water Quality Mapping of Little Lagoon, Alabama Kirstin Hartzell REU Dauphin Island Sea Lab Baylor University

  22. Purpose • To determine spatial characteristics of water quality • Physical characteristics: Temperature, Salinity • Chemical characteristics: Nitrogen, Phosphorus • Biological characteristics: Chlorophyll • Infer possible sources of nutrients to the lagoon • To better understand what is going on in the lagoon

  23. Methods • 25 transects were taken zig-zagging down the lagoon • 3 sampling trips were completed • 50 discrete points were taken and analyzed • Nutrients • Total Nitrogen • Chlorophyll • Total Phosphorus

  24. Methods • Continuous data was gathered using a flow- through instrumentation (physical and optical) • GPS data was gathered during the entire cruise • All data was then imported into ArcGIS and mapped

  25. Temperature & Salinity, 6/27/07

  26. Total Nitrogen, 6/27/07 • Nitrogen is being highest in the ends of the lagoon • Low values near pass indicate dilution and flushing • Nitrogen is high compared to Mobile Bay and nearshore Gulf of Mexico: 26-77 vs 13-48 mM

  27. Total Nitrogen vs Salinity, 6/27/07 • Distinct pattern in TN vs S indicates distinct water-masses within the lagoon • This indicates poor mixing and flushing

  28. Chlorophyll reflects nitrogen levels

  29. High nitrogen translates to an accumulation of microalgae • This can only happen in a poorly-flushed system • Where the nitrogen levels are high, so are the chlorophyll levels

  30. Summary (preliminary…) • Little Lagoon was poorly flushed • Nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) were highest at the ends of the lagoon • Algal biomass was highest in areas where nutrients were highest

  31. Microalgal populations in Little Lagoon and adjacent waters Hugh MacIntyre Dauphin Island Sea Lab

  32. High diversity in Little Lagoon indicates low mixing/flushing Contiguous shaded areas: similar at 60% by cluster analysis. Same color shaded areas: similar at 40% by cluster analysis.

  33. Minor exchange through the pass Contiguous shaded areas: similar at 60% by cluster analysis. Same color shaded areas: similar at 40% by cluster analysis.

  34. …and E-W differences in populations within the lagoon Contiguous shaded areas: similar at 60% by cluster analysis. Same color shaded areas: similar at 40% by cluster analysis.

  35. Nutrient levels in the lagoon are high for saline waters

  36. This may be cause of high Pseudo-nitzschia numbers at Little Lagoon Pass Data: DISL, ADPH & ADEM

  37. Hidden Neighbors – Life Under the Surface of the Lagoon Bill Dickenson

  38. Looking at Life Under the Surface • 3 Guests today • Schoolmaster • Pin Fish • Brown Shrimp • We will discover what they eat. • Simple Rules : “You can tell what they eat, by their fins and their Teeth”

  39. School Master – Growing up in Little Lagoon Description: Olive gray on upper sides with yellow tinge, sometimes with reddish tinge around head; long triangular snout; eight pale vertical bars on the side of the body; yellow fins; blue stripe below eye, becoming interrupted in adults; no dark lateral spot. Where found: juveniles in grassy flats; adults nearshore, especially around Elkhorn coral reefs; large adults sometimes found on continental shelf. Size: usually less than 1 pound. Conclusion : A hunter who needs to turn quickly ! Favorite food: feeds on Shrimp, Crabs other crustaceans, small fishes. So what do you think they eat ? Hint: Mouth: Bottom with distinct teeth Fins: Big fins on sides and bottom

  40. Pin Fish – Stealing Bait is my Favorite thing ! (Being bait is not my favorite thing) Description: small mouth with incisor-like teeth; distinctive black spot behind the gill cover; body bluish-silver with blue and orange-yellow horizontal stripes, yellow fins.. Where found:seagrass beds, bridges, piers, marker pilings, and around natural and artificial reefs; spawn offshore. Size: usually less than 8 inches. So what do you think they eat ? Conclusion : Eat everything I can ! Favorite food: Whatever is available. I can eat live food, scavenge and even plants. Hint: Mouth: Smaller mouth but still on the bottom with lots of small teeth. Fins: Smaller fins on sides and bottom

  41. Brown Shrimp – From the Lagoon to the World ! So what do you think they eat ? Description: Burrowing shrimp, common in Florida waters. Antennae are significantly longer than body length. Normally brown to olive-green appearance, though both red and green specimens of this species have been found. Brown shrimp are commonly found in estuaries along coasts. Primary habitats for these shrimp are muddy bottom areas from the intertidal zone. They have 3 pairs of legs for eating, 5 pair for walking and 5 pair for swimming (swimmerts) Conclusion : Dig, Eat and runaway fast ! Favorite food: An opportunistic omnivore that eats some algae as well as small invertebrates, leftover fish, whatever it can find Hint: Mouth: Small “pincers” that tear small pieces. Fins (well; Feet actually): On the bottom, lots of them and a big tail “flipper”

  42. Red Clay: A Pox on our Snow White Beaches! Dennis Hatfield, President LLPS

  43. How did our beaches get so white? • Our beaches are special! 99.97% snow white, pure quartz sand, with no natural clay, and a very small (.03%) percentage of dark iron and titanium rich heavy minerals • The source materials for the “Miracle Strip” are quartz and feldspar rich granites from the Appalachians • The quartz sand rich Miracle Strip is a “mature” product of numerous repeated episodes of erosion, and deposition. Physical transport and chemical weathering have removed all less resistant minerals and left only the quartz • Microscopic examination of individual sand grains tells a story. The sand is well sorted, and each grain is almost perfectly rounded, frosted, polished, and pitted

  44. A “River of Sand” brings us our Sand From Apalachicola • Mobile Bay delivers a tremendous volume of distinctly different sediment to our coast compared to “Miracle Strip” sediments derived from Fla • A “river of sand” flows from Apalachicola to the mouth of Mobile Bay • The Fort Morgan Peninsula forms a barrier which effectively separates Mobile Bay sediments from “Miracle Strip” sediments

  45. Red Clay on the Miracle Strip is like a “Road Alligator” • If we want Lagoon waters to remain relatively clear, and lagoon and beach sand to remain unique/special/white we have to say no to importing any and all red/yellow materials onto Pleasure Island • Clay is both a textural and mineralogical term-clay minerals and sized particles are 1/256 MM and smaller • Sediments turn yellow or red because the iron contained in them is “oxidized” • Oxidized clay sized sediment is very mobile-easily transported by water and wind • A small amount of oxidized iron rich material can stain a large amount of pure white sand for a long time, and once it is in our special pure white quartz sand environment, it can do damage over and over again

  46. Red Clay is Illegal along the Fort Morgan Road • Uses: • Inexpensive (short term) road bed and house pad material • Inexpensive (short term) fill and grade material • Gulf Shores recently passed ordinance prohibiting colored materials for use south and in large areas north of the Fort Morgan Hwy • Code enforcement is currently lacking, numerous examples exist of code violations since new code passed • We (LLPS) can help by educating/understanding code, reporting code violations and following up to see that code is enforced, and violations punished

  47. Future Plans – And what you can do to help ! Valerie Dickenson

  48. Future Initiatives • We can always use more volunteers • We can teach you what you need to • No special skills except a willingness to follow a process to the end • Three volunteer activities • Collecting water samples • Filtering water • Identifying plankton • Other ways to help • Expand our Membership! We need more people involved and interested to help preserve Little Lagoon! • Educate your neighbors!