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SFS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, June 4, 2024
15:00 - 16:30

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S14 Connecting Freshwaters to Coastal Waters: A Continuum of Emerging Issues, Monitoring Applications, and Management

15:30 - 15:45 | Independence Ballroom C | EXPLORING TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL SYMPTOMS OF THE FRESHWATER SALINIZATION SYNDROME IN A RURAL TO URBAN WATERSHED IN SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA

6/04/2024  |   15:30 - 15:45   |  Independence Ballroom C

Exploring temporal and spatial symptoms of the freshwater salinization syndrome in a rural to urban watershed in southeastern Pennsylvania The freshwater salinization syndrome (FSS), a concomitant watershed-scale increase in salinity, cation, alkalinity, and trace metal delivery over a decadal time frame, recently has been reported for urban areas. Yet, few studies have evaluated FSS temporal and spatial variations, as well as causal factors, at the sub-watershed scale in mixed use areas. This study addresses these knowledge gaps by examining the impact of land-use land-cover practices and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent on major-ion and trace-metal export from the East Branch of the Brandywine Creek, a mixed-use watershed, over one water year. A redundancy analysis (RDA) revealed the following statistically significant relationships (p <0.01) between solutes and potential causal factors: a) a positive relationship between %ISC and Ca, Mg, Na, and Cl during baseflow and stormflow conditions, b) a positive relationship between the volume of upstream WWTP effluent and Cu and Zn concentrations; and c) a positive relationship between %cultivated cropland and As and Pb concentrations. Notably, exceedances of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Na and Cl drinking water criteria were observed during winter months. Furthermore, Cl to SO4 mass ratios were well above thresholds (~6.3 to ~7.7), indicating serious corrosivity potential. Overall, the study advances our understanding of FSS-related solute delivery in mixed-use watersheds, emphasizing the complexity of trace-metal source attribution in these systems.

Steven T. Goldsmith (Primary Presenter/Author), Villanova University, steven.goldsmith@villanova.edu;

Nicole K. Marks (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Villanova University, marks.nicole@epa.gov;

Charles A. Cravotta (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Cravotta Geochemical Consulting, cravottageochemical@gmail.com;

Marissa L. Rossi (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Villanova University, mrossi@usgs.gov;

Camila Silva (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Villanova University, camila.silva@villanova.edu;

Peleg Kremer (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Villanova University, peleg.kremer@villanova.edu;

15:45 - 16:00 | Independence Ballroom C | CONNECTING FRESHWATERS TO COASTAL WATERS: A CONTINUUM OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND SALINITY RISKS

6/04/2024  |   15:45 - 16:00   |  Independence Ballroom C

CONNECTING FRESHWATERS TO COASTAL WATERS: A CONTINUUM OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND SALINITY RISKS Human activities have altered the sources, transport, and transformation of salt ions contributing to the anthropogenic salt cycle. A major consequence of the anthropogenic salt cycle is Freshwater Salinization Syndrome (FSS). FSS can impact inland waters due to road salt, weathering of impervious surfaces, sewage, and other pollution sources. Although less studied, FSS can spread along tidal rivers and estuaries through both anthropogenic salt pollution and saltwater intrusion. While there have been increasing salinization trends over time in many prominent inland waters, less is known regarding how the impacts of extreme events are propagated or attenuated along streams, rivers, and estuaries across space and time. Here, we investigate how impacts of climate change on FSS are propagating from headwaters to coastal waters and spreading along the Mid-Atlantic U.S. Specifically, we explore spatial and temporal responses of FSS in watersheds and estuaries to different climatic events such as: floods, hurricanes, droughts, winter road salt events, rain on snow events, and saltwater intrusion in the Chesapeake Bay region. We analyze how sources, retention, storage, and release of salt ions and associated chemical cocktails is changing spatially and temporally along rivers and estuaries due to increasing climate variability. We develop a conceptual framework for predicting different typologies of salt retention and release patterns along watersheds and estuaries in response to extreme climate events. Predicting responses of FSS to climate change will be critical for protecting drinking water sources, aquatic habitats, agriculture, and infrastructure extending from inland waters to coastal waters.

Sujay Kaushal (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Maryland, skaushal@umd.edu;

Paul Mayer (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Environmental Protection Agency, mayer.paul@epa.gov;

Sydney Shelton (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Maryland, College Park, sydneys8@umd.edu;

Bennett Kellmayer (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Maryland, bkellmay@terpmail.umd.edu ;

Tammy Newcomer-Johnson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US EPA, Newcomer-Johnson.Tammy@epa.gov;

Ruth Shatkay (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Maryland, rshatkay@terpmail.umd.edu;

Stanley Grant (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Virginia Tech, stanleyg@vt.edu;

16:00 - 16:15 | Independence Ballroom C | EFFECT OF SALINE INTRUSION ON FRESHWATER AGRO-FORESTRY FARMING SYSTEMS IN THE COASTAL ZONES OF THE VIETNAMESE MEKONG DELTA

6/04/2024  |   16:00 - 16:15   |  Independence Ballroom C

Effect of Saline Intrusion on Freshwater Agro-Forestry Farming Systems in the Coastal Zones of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta Saline intrusion poses a growing threat, significantly affecting the livelihoods of coastal communities and the efficacy of agricultural systems in coastal regions. This study aims to evaluate the impact of saline intrusion on freshwater agricultural and forestry models in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta, providing a foundation for proposing adaptive measures for the local population. Employing various methodologies, we simulated and assessed its effects. Historical salt level analysis has identified 2016 and 2020 as particularly severe periods of intrusion in the region. While the MIKE 11 model yielded promising results for hydraulic dynamics and saltwater spread in the main river network, refinement is needed, particularly in incorporating parameters related to sluice system operation for the inland small river system, enhancing accuracy. Projections for future saline intrusion suggest a deeper impact on inland areas due to rising sea levels and diminished upstream water flow. Despite these challenges, the adaptive capacity of coastal farmers was found to be moderate, with escalating production costs and a dwindling profit observed during the period from 2016 to 2020. Consequently, collaborative efforts between local authorities and farmers are imperative for proactive forecasting and the establishment of suitable seasonal timetables to mitigate economic losses for farming households.

Ly Trung Nguyen (Primary Presenter/Author), DRAGON-Mekong Institute, Can Tho University, Vietnam, ltnguyen@ctu.edu.vn;

Van Pham Dang Tri (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), DRAGON-Mekong Institute, Can Tho University, Vietnam, vpdtri@ctu.edu.vn;

Phan Thi Ngoc Thuan (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), DRAGON-Mekong Institute, Can Tho University, Vietnam, ngocthuan.phan0989@gmail.com;

16:15 - 16:30 | Independence Ballroom C | HOW DO SEASONALLY FLOODED WETLANDS CONTRIBUTE TO BIODIVERSITY AND NEARSHORE CONSUMER PRODUCTION IN LAKE CHAMPLAIN?

6/04/2024  |   16:15 - 16:30   |  Independence Ballroom C

How do seasonally flooded wetlands contribute to biodiversity and nearshore consumer production in Lake Champlain? Wetlands are among the most productive freshwater habitats; like their marine/estuarine counterparts, freshwater wetlands serve as nurseries, foster biodiverse communities, and in many systems, are associated with seasonal, critical pulses of prey that support consumers in recipient habitats. Though the Lake Champlain basin contains extensive wetland areas, we understand very little about their communities or connectivity to adjacent ecosystems. We assessed the influence of wetland complexes on prey community structure and size across Lake Champlain. We compared long-term fish trapping data in stream tributaries both with and without terminal wetland areas across the lake and used diet analyses to assess the impact of seasonal flooding on connectivity between marshes and adjacent ecosystems. Prey communities are more abundant and diverse overall in streams with wetlands; prey fish abundance spikes during times of flooding, and piscivores consume more fish in marshes than those in adjacent habitats during floods. Climate change is expected to drastically impact the hydrology of the Lake Champlain basin; understanding the link between seasonal wetland flooding, prey communities, and food web function allows us to better predict the consequences of these projections on the health of the Lake Champlain ecosystem.

Justin Lesser (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Vermont, Justin.Lesser@uvm.edu;

BJ Allaire (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, bj_allaire@fws.gov;

Stephen Smith (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Stephen_J_Smith@fws.gov;

Jason Stockwell (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Vermont , jdstockw@uvm.edu;

Ellen Marsden (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Vermont, ellen.marsden@uvm.edu;

16:30 - 16:45 | Independence Ballroom C | AGAINST THE CURRENT: EXPERIENCES AND PERCEPTIONS OF FISHERS ALONG THE MIAMI RIVER (FLORIDA, USA)

6/04/2024  |   16:30 - 16:45   |  Independence Ballroom C

AGAINST THE CURRENT: EXPERIENCES AND PERCEPTIONS OF FISHERS ALONG THE MIAMI RIVER (FLORIDA, USA) Despite the prominent role fishing plays in south Florida’s economy, little study has focused on urban fishing efforts along the Miami River. Often overlooked in cityscapes, fishing can have positive effects for fishers despite close proximities to anthropogenic sources of pollution. The lack of investigation on the Miami River’s role as an urban fishery has left management unaware of social issues and fishers uninformed about health risks. Our research sought to understand the motivations, barriers, and concerns of Miami River fishers and provide baseline data for advisory knowledge and fish consumption. Through participant observations and interviews at public access points, we gained insights into their experiences. Analysis showed that fish consumption, emotional relief, and social interaction motivate fishers, who often visit the river and consume their catch. However, they face barriers like restrictive policies and financial constraints, which limit their access. The most prominent concern amongst fishers was access. However, additional concerns emerged about pollution levels. Despite being a high-risk site for contaminants like dioxins and mercury, there are no fishing advisories along the river, which could be leading to dangerous consumption levels. This study offers a methodology for urban fishery assessments and underscores the need for informed urban planning and management to protect fishers' wellbeing.

Michael Borbolla (Primary Presenter/Author), Florida International University, mikeborbolla@gmail.com;

16:45 - 17:00 | Independence Ballroom C | RECOVERY OF ANADROMOUS FISHES IN A MID-ATLANTIC ESTUARY: SPATIAL AND SEASONAL PATTERNS NEAR A DAM

6/04/2024  |   16:45 - 17:00   |  Independence Ballroom C

Recovery of anadromous fishes in a mid-Atlantic estuary: spatial and seasonal patterns near a dam On the east coast of North America rivers once supported vast runs of anadromous fishes, such as blueback herring and American shad. Declines in runs were attributed to, in part, dams and poor water quality that have since been improved by fishways and improvements to wastewater treatment, respectively. The objective of this study was to determine the status of anadromous fishes upstream and downstream of a dam in a heavily urbanized tributary that has undergone improvements in water quality and fish passage. We used boat electrofishing to index fish densities during the spring and summer over two years. We found a robust run of anadromous blueback herring, a species extirpated in the 1970’s but observed in low numbers in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. We also found a general pattern of decreasing densities of blueback herring and striped bass upstream of the dam when compared to downstream. Our study demonstrates that highly urbanized rivers, such as the Cooper River, can and in some cases do support robust runs of anadromous fishes. It is important that urban waters be considered for restoration efforts such as improved fish passage to increase access to historical spawning grounds if these fisheries are to fully recover. Continued monitoring of urbanized streams and tidewater is needed to better describe the long-term response of anadromous fishes to efforts that ameliorate ecological disturbances caused by urbanization.

Daniel Morrill (Primary Presenter/Author), The Academy of Natural Sciences, dpm325@drexel.edu;