Essay about The Effects of Runoff to Marine Life

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Runoff is defined as excess water that soil does not absorb after a storm. Runoff collects various particles on its way downhill, such as pesticides and nutrients, from the surrounding area, and moves them into the nearby bodies of water. Some nutrients carried by runoff include: nitrate, ammonium, and phosphate; all of which are found in golf course turf fertilizer (experiment). When these excess chemicals enter the water, they create an imbalance in the ecosystem. This imbalance can be harmful to inhabitants both in, and around the body of water. Those affected in the water may be subjected to a decrease in dissolved oxygen levels, making it harder for the animals to breath. The levels of acidity in the water may increase, causing…show more content…
Sliva and Dudley Williams gathered information that with increased urban land use, there were increased chemical fluxes, and their data they gathered from increased agricultural land use disagreed with the results of other similar studies. They determined major trends in water quality and where pollution could potentially be derived from (Sliva & Dudley-Williams, 2001). It is a known fact that unnecessary amounts of lawn fertilizer, containing nitrogen and phosphorus, are commonly used, and result in pollution of the Chesapeake Bay. This occurs through runoff. Not all of the nutrients from runoff get transported directly to the Bay. Overtime, some are absorbed into the ground, where they mix with groundwater, and later meets up with the Bay. For example, in a stream near Baltimore, scientists discovered that 56% of the nutrients in the water came from lawn fertilizer alone (Chesapeake Bay Program, 2011). Nitrogen and phosphorus are not only the primary nutrients in lawn fertilizer, they are also the primary nutrients required to sustain aquatic biological productivity, in the correct moderation. In freshwater ecosystems, the growth of phytoplankton and algae are influenced by a surplus of nitrogen and phosphorus. Aquatic grasses living under this excess growth are then inhibited from growing, eventually leading towards grass bed loss, due to the lack of sunlight available. Lack of sunlight results in a lack of photosynthesis. Unlike the more
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