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Coasts, Estuaries and Issues

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  • 1. Coasts, Estuaries, and Environmental Issues
  • 2. What defines an estuary?
    • There are four types of estuaries. What type is South Puget Sound?
    • Salt Wedge
    • Well-Mixed
    • Partially-Mixed
    • Fjord-Type
  • 3. What do estuaries provide?
  • 4. WA Coast Estuaries
  • 5. Why is the coastal zone important in the United States?
    • All states must come up with a coastal zone management plan that allows for changes in the coastline. This is becoming more important as the sea level rises and we lose coastline.
    • For more information on this issue go to the web site for the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) under National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and look for more information on the Coastal Zone Management Act http://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/ . The United States Geological Survey (USGS) also has a coastal and marine geology program with information on coastal issues http://marine.usgs.gov/ .
  • 6. What about Climate Change?
    • “ EPA study estimates that one meter rise inundates 7,000 sq mi of dry land, 50-80% of U.S. wetlands, and costs over $100 billion in the United States alone” ( http://users.erols.com/jtitus/Holding/NRJ.html#shore ) . One meter rise in sea level means the following amount of beach erosion for the different regions in the U.S.:
    • Northeast = 50-100 meters erosion
    • Florida coast = 100-1,000 meters erosion
    • California coast = 200-400 meters erosion 
    • (Everts, 1985; Kyper and Sorensen, 1985; Kana et al, 1984; Bruun, 1962; Wilcoxen, 1986)
  • 7. Great web sites!
    • http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/transformations/coastal_research/estuary.html
    • http://nerrs.noaa.gov/
    • http://nerrs.noaa.gov/PadillaBay/welcome.html
    • http://nerrs.noaa.gov/SouthSlough/welcome.html
  • 8. Other issues that affect estuaries?
    • http://www.epa.gov/OWOW/oceans/
    • Habitat Loss
    • Invasive species
    • Pollution
    • How is the pollution getting into Puget Sound in the first place?
  • 9. Point Source Pollution
    • http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/pollution/03pointsource.html
  • 10. Non-point Source Pollution
  • 11. Who are the polluters in Puget Sound?
    • http://www.seattlepi.com/dayart/20021118/day1violatorsmap.pdf
  • 12. What are the persistent toxins and where do they come from?
    • PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) – 209 chemicals used for industry and transformers. Biomagnification in aquatic systems.
    • PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) – petroleum products and runoff
    • Endocrine Disruptor Chemicals – pharmaceuticals, personal care products and plastic
    • Source: WA Department of Ecology Presentation 5/08
  • 13.
    • “ The Washington State Department of Ecology compiled a total of 15,000 potentially relevant sampling records. These data are needed to estimate the flux (movement) of toxic chemicals between the ocean boundary and Puget Sound.”
    • Source: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/biblio/0803008.html
  • 14.
    • “ Data were sought for selected toxic heavy metals, persistent organic compounds, pesticides, and hormone disruptors. The metals data appear adequate to estimate fluxes at the ocean boundary and to provide representative water column concentrations for some cells of the Puget Sound box model. There is much less data on organic contaminants. The most useful data are for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) in the Strait of Georgia.”
    • Source: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/biblio/0803008.html
  • 15. Eutrophication and the Sound
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JTxVxL_yFM
    • http://videodetective.com/titledetails.aspx?PublishedID=562278
  • 16. Hood Canal Dead Zone
    • Flush Time - Diving the volume by the rate of net seaward flow. Hood Canal has low flush rate.
    • Differences between rapid and slow flushing rates
    • Tidal cycles are also factored into the flushing time by the number of cycles it takes to exchange total volume of an estuary. Takes many tidal cycles to exchange Hood Canal.
    • Cycling from tides is not always complete even after several tides
    • Depends on currents and topography. Fjord type does not allow rapid exchange.
    • High density of septic and human activity adds to pollution problems for the canal.
  • 17. Eutrophication http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBgDeG0kzCQ
  • 18. How can you make a difference in your daily lives?
    • You tell me!
    • National Estuaries Day at the end of September
    • http://www.estuaries.gov/estuaries101/GetInvolved/Default.aspx?ID=153
  • 19. Other Coastal and Ocean Issues
    • Beach Armoring
    • Water Quality
    • Toxins
    • Marine Debris
    • Oil Spills
    • Sonar noise pollution
  • 20. Water Quality and Toxins
    • What do you put down the drain? “All Drains Lead To The Ocean!”
    • www.safecosmetics.org/
    • http://www.pollutioninpeople.org/
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExlGqNu4DB4
    • http://www.thegreenguide.com/
    • Education and awareness are the best way to prevent exposure!
  • 21. Oil Spills
    • 1967 Torrey Canyon spill 119,000 metric tons
    • 1989 Exxon Valdez 37,000 metric tons
    • 1991 Gulf War spills 800,000 metric tons
    • Compared to the most recent spill:
    • 2010 Gulf of Mexico 190,120,055 (PBS.org) gallons or 760,480 estimated metric tons (9/22/10)
    • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8651333.stm
  • 22. Exxon Valdez
    • http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/oil/
  • 23.
    • “ This calculation gives a total of 124,185 lost recreation days. Multiplying this number of days by $250 per day yields a mid- range estimate of $3 1 .O million dollars.”
    • http://www.evostc.state.ak.us/pdf/econ1.pdf
    • “ The business segments most negatively affected by the spill included lodges and resorts, Alaska-based package tour companies, guided outdoor activities, charter and sightseeing boats. These businesses did not have the opportunity to reap spillbenefits (such as spending for accommodations) because they were located away from spill clean-up operations or operated a business which couldn't serve clean-up needs.”
    • http://www.evostc.state.ak.us/pdf/econ3.pdf
  • 24. Lingering Oil
    • “ In 2001, researchers at the Auke Bay Laboratories, NOAA Fisheries, conducted a survey of the mid-to-upper intertidal in areas of the sound that were heavily or moderately oiled in 1989. Researchers dug over 9,000 pits, at 91 sites, over a 95-day field season. Over half the sites were contaminated with Exxon Valdez oil. Oil was found at different levels of intensity from light sheening; to oil droplets; to heavy oil where the pit would literally fill with oil. They estimated that approximately 16,000 gallons (60,000 liters), of oil remained.”
  • 25. Recovery?
    • “ When the Restoration Plan was first drafted, it was assumed that oil in the environment would disappear over time and resources injured in the spill would begin a path toward recovery. We now understand that several resources injured in the original oiling continue to struggle even though they are no longer in direct contact with oil. The current status of killer whales is a clear example of these long-term effects.”
  • 26. Marine Debris
    • http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/
  • 27. Why is it so bad?
    • Causes choking or digestive problems
    • Sometimes causing death
    • Discarded fishing gear can keep on killing
    • Ghost nets drift with the currents and entangle
    • Marine mammals are attracted to the bait that is entangled in the gear and become entangled themselves
  • 28.  
  • 29. Land-Based Sources
    • Municipal landfills
    • Transport of litter and waste (on land or on waterways)
    • Storm water discharge
    • Industrial or manufacturing
    • Litter and waste generated in coastal and inland zones from improper waste management
    • Natural events
  • 30. Ocean-Based Sources
    • Merchant shipping, ferries, and cruise liners
    • Fishing vessels
    • Public vessels
    • Private vessels
    • Offshore oil and gas platforms, and drilling rigs
    • Aquaculture installations
    • Natural events
  • 31. http://www.oceanconservancy.org/site/PageServer?pagename=icc_report
  • 32. 80% Marine Debris land-based!
  • 33. Pacific Garbage Patch
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lt-MivNezes
  • 34. What you can do!
  • 35. Anatomy of A Beach Source:http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/typesofcoasts.htm
    • Backshore, foreshore, nearshore and offshore
    • Scarp, berms, toughs and bars
    • Characteristics determined by slope and geology
  • 36. What beach types do we have in WA?
    • Squim Bay Washington shows what kind of beach type? Where is it?
  • 37.  
  • 38. Spits and Islands
    • Spits parallel the shore – like Dungeness Spit
    • Trombolo if spit has off shore island on the end
    • Barrier Island – many examples along the SE coast of US
  • 39. Longshore Currents
  • 40.
    • Coastal Circulation Cells
    • Rip currents, undertows and long shore currents can all take you out to sea
    • More dangerous on the West Coast. Why?
    • Rip currents are usually located where there are troughs or depressions in sea floor
    • Coastal Circulation cell is the path that sediment takes from it’s source to deposition
    • Learn more in lab at Tolmie State Park!
    What are the dangerous currents that you hear about when you swim at the beach?