Citizen Monitoring Program

2014 WATER QUALITY REPORTS AND SUMMARIES
Aug 29 - Sept 24

Here is the eighth and final set of UD Citizen Monitoring Program Reports for 2014 covering the period from Aug 29 to Sept 24, so almost 4 weeks.

  • Temperatures and precipitation were about normal for the period. Many TE Bacteria and Harmful Algae samples were collected on Sept 8 to 10, which followed heavy rains.
  • Although some sites showed improvement since late August, low Dissolved Oxygen readings (< 4.0 ppm) persisted in most canals and a few upper tributaries. Severely low readings (< 2 ppm) were limited to several dead-end canals.
  • Accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation were limited and minor.
  • Total Enterococcus Bacteria (TE) levels were elevated in a several tributaries on Sept 8-10 following significant rains. A 3rd and 4th round of spatially intensive sampling in the upper Love Creek watershed occurred on Sept 2 and Sept 22. Both sets showed similar patterns to those collected in late July and mid-August. None of these 4 sets of samples followed significant rain events.
  • In the estuaries, blooms of potentially toxic algae included Anabaena spp. at the Prime Hook boat ramp, Chloromorum toxicum in 3 dead-end canals (Holly Terrace Acres, South Bethany and Torquay), Chattonella subsalsa in the Loop canal, and Heterosigma akashiwo in Love Creek. Notable dense blooms of non-toxic species occurred in upper Indian River and Guinea creek. In the ocean, Karenia papilionacea, Dinophysis acuminata and Pseudo-nitzchia spp. were present at background cell densities.

As usual, these reports will be archived here. Maps of dissolved oxygen at shoreline sites and maps of dissolved oxygen boat transects for the season can be found here. Enjoy Autumn, and remember that UD Coast Day is Sunday Oct 5, 2014.

Aug 14 - 29

Here is the seventh set of UD Citizen Monitoring Program Reports for 2014 covering the period from Aug 14 to 29. Temperatures and rainfall were a bit below normal during the period.

  • Low Dissolved Oxygen readings (< 4.0 ppm) continued to be widespread, but severely low readings (< 2 ppm) were limited to a few dead-end canal systems in the Inland Bays.
  • Accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation were minor, except for Diamond Pond and at the head of the Broadkill River in Milton.
  • Total Enterococcus Bacteria (TE) levels were elevated in a few tributaries, a canal and a stream, but were lower than average at several sites. A second round of spatially intensive sampling in the upper Love Creek watershed showed similar patterns as those in late July.
  • In the estuaries, notable blooms of potentially toxic algae included Chloromorum toxicum in Torquay canal, and a mixed bloom of Microcystis, Anabaena and Amphidinium at the Primehook boat ramp. In the ocean, Karenia papilionacea, Pseudo-nitzchia spp. and Dinophysis acuminata were present at background cell densities.

As usual, these reports will be archived here. Maps of dissolved oxygen at shoreline sites and maps of dissolved oxygen boat transects of the bays can be seen here.

July 30 - Aug 15

Here is the sixth set of UD Citizen Monitoring Program Reports for 2014 covering the period from July 30 to Aug 15. Temperatures were below normal, and rainfall was above normal, with very heavy rains falling on Aug 2-3.

  • Low Dissolved Oxygen readings (< 4.0 ppm) were widespread, but severely low readings (< 2 ppm) were limited to a few dead-end canal systems in the Inland Bays, and Old Mill Creek in the Broadkill watershed.
  • Accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation were limited. The floating mat of algae in Diamond Pond appeared to have been mostly flushed downstream, but a bed of Hydrilla remained underwater. There was a major accumulation of decaying algae in the water at the Milton tidal pond.
  • Total Enterococcus Bacteria (TE) levels were elevated in some canals and tributaries a few days after the heavy rains, although levels at some sites were below average for the season. Note that some sights were not sampled in this period, so data from the last period is shown.
  • In the estuaries, cell densities of the usual marine potentially toxic algae were generally lower with the exception of a bloom of Chloromorum toxicum in South Bethany. High densities of the potentially toxic, fresh water, blue-green algae, Aphanizomenon, were apparently flushed from Red Mill Pond into Old Mill Creek. In the ocean, Karenia papilionacea, Dinophysis acuminata, and Pseudo-nitzchia spp. were consistently present at background cell densities.

As usual, these reports will be archived here. Maps of dissolved oxygen at shoreline sites have been updated, and maps of dissolved oxygen boat transects of the bays will be updated shortly here.

July 15 - 31

Here is the fifth set of UD Citizen Monitoring Program Reports for 2014 covering the period from July 15 to July 31. Temperatures were below normal and rainfall was about normal.

 

  • Low Dissolved Oxygen readings (< 4.0 ppm) were widespread, however severely low readings (< 2 ppm) were limited to 2 upper tributaries and a few sites in canal systems.
  • Accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation generally remained minor, except for the floating mat at Diamond pond, which appeared to be decreasing in extent.
  • Total Enterococcus Bacteria (TE) levels were quite elevated in many locations, including a stream, a pond, a few upper tributaries, a few canals and a bayside site. Intensive sampling of the upper Love Creek watershed on 2 days exhibited interesting spatial patterns from headwater streams to the Rt. 24 bridge.
  • In the estuaries, blooms of potentially toxic harmful algae were limited to modest blooms of Heterosigma and Chattonella in 2 tributaries of the Broadkill. At the ocean beaches and the Indian River Inlet, cell densities of Karenia papilionacea decreased over 2 weeks following moderately high cell densities on 7/16. Dinophysis was virtually absent, but Pseudo-nitzchia was more commonly seen at low cell densities.

As usual, these reports will be archived here. Maps of dissolved oxygen at shoreline sites have been updated, and maps of dissolved oxygen boat transects of the bays will be updated shortly here.

July 1 - 17

Here is the fourth set of UD Citizen Monitoring Program Reports for 2014 covering the period from July 1 to 17, 2014.

  • The weather was generally hot and humid with above average rainfall from a few heavy rain events.
  • Low Dissolved Oxygen readings (< 4.0 ppm) were widespread, however severely low readings (< 2 ppm) were limited to sites in 2 canals and 2 tributaries.
  • Accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation generally remained minor, except for a persistent major accumulation (floating mat) in Diamond pond.
  • Total Enterococcus Bacteria (TE) levels were elevated in a few streams, upper tributaries and canals.
  • Moderately dense blooms of potentially toxic flagellates that may cause fish kills (Heterosigma, Chloromorum and/or Chattonella) were seen in 2 canals and 1 tributary of the Inland Bays. In the ocean, potentially toxic Karenia papilionacea was found at moderately high densities during the second week.

As usual, these reports will be archived here. Maps of dissolved oxygen at shoreline sites and maps of dissolved oxygen boat transects of the bays will be updated within a week or so here.

June 2 - 19

Here is the second set of Citizen Monitoring Reports for 2014 covering the period June 2 to June 19. Temperatures were about normal. Thunderstorms brought heavy rains to some areas, but largely missed others, as is typical in summer.

  • Low Dissolved Oxygen readings (D.O. < 4 ppm) and severely low readings (< 2 ppm) became more widespread. Severely low readings were found in 2 upper tributaries and 2 canal systems.
  • Accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation were generally minor.
  • Total Enterococcus Bacteria (TE) levels were quite elevated in a several locations, including streams, upper tributaries and canals, and were largely associated with recent rain events. The report is still not listing the “Last Sample Date”. The last samples were collected on June 9-11, except for 2 sites (AB01, DB01), which were collected on June 17. The report format has been somewhat condensed, but the “Standards for Swimming” title bar remains offset. Remember that the standards for fresh water are 185 (single sample) and 100 (geometric mean), and the standards for tidal waters are 104 (single sample) and 35 (geometric mean).
  • Harmful algae blooms were limited to a few dense blooms of non-toxic species (Pleurochrysis, Kryptoperidinium, and Gyrodinium) and a few blooms of potentially toxic species below thresholds of concern (Heterosigma and Prorocentrum). Dinophysis and Pseudo-nitzchia were at background levels at the Indian River and Roosevelt Inlets.

As usual, the reports will be archived here. Also, go here to see maps of dissolved oxygen readings taken from shoreline sites for the first 4 weeks of the season.

April 7 - June 4

Here is the first set of Citizen Monitoring Reports for 2014 covering the period of April 7 to June 4. Sorry for the delay in release. Subsequent reports will follow every 2 weeks or so during the summer, and the reports will be archived here.

  • Precipitation was about average over the period. Temperatures were a bit below normal into early May.
  • Low Dissolved Oxygen readings (< 4 ppm) began to be detected at many sites in upper tributaries and residential canals in May. Severely low readings (< 2 ppm) were limited to one observation at the Prime Hook Boat ramp.
  • Minor accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic vegetation were widespread, but major accumulations were only observed in a few locations including; Diamond Pond (Hydrilla and floating mats of fine filamentous algae), Pot Nets Seaside (seaweeds, dominated by Ulva and Gracilaria) and a canal system connected to White Creek (floating mats of fine filamentous algae).
  • Total Enterococcus (TE) levels were moderately elevated in a few fresh water streams, a few tributaries, and in a few canal systems. The report has a “bug” and will not list the “Last Sample Date”. The last, or most recent samples were collected on May 19-21, except for 4 sites (BR03, BR44, IRll, and RB05), which were collected on May 28-29. Please remember that since TE values can be highly variable, the Geometric mean is a better indicator of conditions over the season.
  • The typical variety of Harmful Algae for the late spring were present at low cell densities. A non-toxic diatom, Guinardia, formed dense blooms at 2 sites in April. Blooms of a few potentially toxic algae that may harm aquatic organisms (Prorocentrum, Karlodinium, Heterosigma, Chaetoceros) were below thresholds of concern. Dinophysis acuminata, a species of concern for shellfish toxicity, was observed at relatively high cell densities in Torquay canal, which is outside of approved shellfish harvesting areas. We have adopted the new name for Chattonella cf. verruculosa, which is Chloromorum toxicum. This year, it just emerged at background densities in early June, but is typically a localized bloom former in canals and upper tributaries in summer.

Also, go here to see maps of dissolved oxygen readings taken from shoreline sites for the first 4 weeks of the season.

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