GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 59-15
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM-6:30 PM


JOHNSON, Kera1, MONDAL, Srewashi2, NANDI, Shayoni3, NATH, Bibhash4 and DHAR, Ratan1, (1)Earth and Physical Sciences, York College of the City University of New York, 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11451, (2)Brooklyn Technical High School, 29 Fort Greene Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11217, (3)Eleanor Roosevelt High School, 411 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021, (4)Department of Geography and Environmental Science, Hunter College of the City University of New York, New York, NY 10065

Jamaica Bay offers a unique setting for wildlife conservation and urban recreation. The bay is located on the southern shore of Long Island’s western side, New York. The bay covers approximately 100 square km in area. Despite the reality that New York has cleaned most bodies of water including the Jamaica Bay, the bay’s ecosystem has had a lot of environmental issues in the last several decades. Large volumes of partially treated sewage are discharged into the bay. This study analyzed how urbanization affected the water quality of the Jamaica Bay and to discover which location has the highest level of contaminants. We used harbor water quality data generated by NYC DEP (New York City Department of Environmental Protection) for Jamaica Bay. Five sample locations were selected for detailed water quality assessment. Different water quality components such as pH, temperature, salinity, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen, chemical nutrients such as phosphate and nitrate, as well as fecal indicator bacteria were assessed, and the data was logged on an excel sheet and the results were presented in a graphical format. We also compared enterococci level with the different water quality parameters for each site. The analysis of the data show that at site BB2 which is located at the center of urban development, had the greater level of enterococci (59,000 cells/100ml). This indicates that there is a higher level of contaminants discharging from this region into the bay than the other four sampling sites. The trends indicated that the salinity levels increase over the decades in all five sites. It was also noted that during warmer temperature enterococci levels tend to increase as opposed to the cooler temperature. The trend also depicted higher nitrate levels in each site which ranged between 0.1 and 1 mg/L. When dissolved oxygen (DO) levels was compared with the level of enterococci in each site, the results indicated that with an increase in DO there is a decrease in the enterococci levels for all sites. The results also show a constant level of pH for the five sites which ranges between 7.0 and 8.5. In conclusion, we observed higher levels of contaminants are discharging from sites BB2 and BB4 which are surrounded by urban development. It is an indication that wastewater runoffs are entering into the bay.