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SFS Annual Meeting

Poster Details

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Project Clarity, a $12M restoration project initiated in 2013, works to restore the 179 mi2 hypereutrophic Lake Macatawa Watershed. Our goal is to assess Project Clarity’s impact on water quality by collecting weekly samples from 12 representative watershed sites. Physical and chemical parameters including total suspended solids, nutrients (phosphate and nitrate), temperature, stream discharge, dissolved oxygen, and biological oxygen demand are measured and correlated to the composition of the watershed’s microbiome. The watershed’s land use and hydrology make it flashy, causing rapid surges in stream height and discharge during large rain events. This causes runoff that often carries large amounts of fine grained sediment that has the tendency to adsorb nutrients. Most of these sediments end up entering nearby waterways, causing a decrease in water quality. Project Clarity implements best management practices for land use in an attempt to minimize the impacts of rain events large enough to produce heavy runoff. This study is, in part, a way to monitor those efforts by providing a baseline of water quality characteristics for monitoring remediation efforts in the watershed. Correlations between data are explored for potential influence on large-scale biogeochemical cycling.

Mallory Luke (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Hope College,;

Abbygale Parshall (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Hope College,;

Jacob Spry (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Hope College,;

Sarah Brokus (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Hope College,;

Randall Wade (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Hope College,;

Brent Krueger (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Hope College,;

Michael Pikaart (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Hope College,;

Aaron Best (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Hope College,;

Eleda Plouch (Primary Presenter/Author), Hope College,;

Abagail Jeavons (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Hope College,;

Daniel Wade (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Hope College,;