Friday, July 16, 2010

Evaluation of Water Quality and Aquatic Ecosystem Health in the Mara River Basin

Beth McCartney just wrapped up a very nice evaluation of water quality and aquatic ecosystem health for the Mara River Basin as part of her Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies at Florida International University.  Download a copy of her thesis.  

The abstract:

Limited capacity and lack of urgency have left many regions of the Mara River Basin unstudied resulting in uncertainty and ambiguity when forming management strategies. Eutrophication, flow alteration, land use conversion, pathogens and suspended sediment are of concern throughout the region.

This study provides a better understanding of baseline conditions, river status and health, throughout the Basin using in-situ water chemistry parameters, nutrient analysis and macro invertebrate indicators, in coordination with a geographic information system. Additionally, visual assessments were conducted to note local users, immediate land-uses and riparian condition. Though
basin scale trends were generally not evident, some sites exhibited locally elevated parameter levels. The effects of local land-use and observed degradation were evident. Though pollution and poor ecosystem health do not appear to be widespread, the long-
term repercussions of land conversion, climate change and resource demands will warrant more consistent, in-depth monitoring of the system.

Amanda Subalusky, Doris Ombara and Beth McCartney
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