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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Best Management Practices in the Conesus Lake Watershed and Their Impacts on Water Quality

In 1999, Conesus Lake had large nearshore algal mats and was undergoing eutrophication - a state of advanced productivity. The most likely cause of the eutrophication was runoff from the many farms which lie in the watershed of the lake. Farmers and residents worked with scientists to create a plan which would reduce the amounts of nutrients running into the lakes as a result of farming. As part of this multi-year study, eight sub-watersheds of Conesus Lake were chosen, seven with farms on them, and one without a farm which served as a control watershed. In collaboration with farmers, scientists implemented both physical and cultural best management practices to reduce the nutrient rich runoff from the farms. From 2003 to 2009, the concentration and flux of nitrogen and phosphorus was reduced by as much as 70%. Best management practices do reduce nutrient loads flowing in to Conesus Lake and do improve conditions in the lake itself as abundance of algal mats deceased.

Presenter: Gretchen Murphey (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Environmental Science
Location: 102 Edwards
Time: 9:30 am (Session I)