The Effects Of Eutrophication On Coastal Waters Essay

1806 WordsDec 2, 20168 Pages
Eutrophication is a harmful process that occurs when an excess amount of nutrients enter into a water system. These nutrients, such as nitrates and phosphates, enable plants to grow and are only beneficial to an ecosystem in small amounts. When an excessive amount of nutrients enter a water system, an explosive growth of algae is stimulated, creating an extremely low oxygenated environment where fish and other organisms are unable to survive (Rhyther et al. 1771). These excessive nutrients are sourced back to a range of anthropogenic activities such as, discharge from sewage treatment plants and septic tanks, and stormwater runoff from over fertilized lawns, golf courses, and agricultural fields (NOAA). Globally, eutrophication has become one of the largest pollution problem affecting coastal waters (Howarth et al., 2000). United States has the second largest consumption rate producing 220 million tons of waste per year just behind China who produces 330 million tons per year (Duan et al. 2008). These enormous amounts of wastes are harming vital parameters of ecosystems. For instance, Chesapeake Bay off the coast of Virginia is the largest estuary in North America and 70 % of it is polluted (Boesch et al. 2001). Overpopulation is on the rise and coastal counties are the fastest growing counties. Approximately 54% of people living in the United States reside in these counties (Iculliton. 1998). As the population rises, industrialization increases as well. This has

More about The Effects Of Eutrophication On Coastal Waters Essay

Open Document