Monday, September 15, 2008

A 'eureka' moment

I of course, have an interest in Long Island Sound. When I first came here I was told by my best friend of the fishing will he was growing up and as he was raising his son. There was a little when I first came in 1977, but it quickly dwindled, so only truely dedicated fishermen went out fishing to catch things. Art Glowka was one and he noticed a significant change and pondered it. Meantime, the USEPA was out doing their thing and not looking at what affects they might be having. Municipalities like New York went with it cause they could get federal money to up grade sewage treatment plants and that might help their beaches.

So what was the eureka moment?

We were talking about the measured fact that nitrogens have remained constant for the past 60 years.
That the measured hypoxia has been growing since 1977.
Chlorophyll levels (the measure of algae) have been decreaseing for a significant time.
The fish started decreasing and changing in 1977.
Changing means differnet kinds of fish, decreasing means of the kinds that were most prevelant in the past.
The size of the plankton has been shown to be different, smaller than before and that means different fish will eat them.

Art and i started talking about the water column and hydrogen sulfide in the muck at the bottom.

I thought about it long after he left and I don't have a full picture, but it has to do with the fact that the deutritis was no longer being added as a cover to the old anerobic (without oxygen) muck, protecting it from the hydrogen sulfide being produced.

We have ample evidence that this exists and when conditions are wrong, it gets stirred up and is the best explaination of why the lobsters died off.

Did we create this toxic mess? Yes, from years of treatment plant discharge!
Is limiting nitrogen going to do anything to change things? No, not a bit!
Do I have a solution? A temporary one and that is to let the clean deutritis that we currectly pay to get rid of in some land fill go back into the Sound, but I do not think that is the only aswer and people smarter than I will figure something out!
So this is my usual boring environmental post!
We also talked about the carbon or deutritis that both rotting leaves and sewage tretment plants would add to the waters of the sound
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