general, the health of the Gulf looks very good. We still need time for the analysis of the
data, but we have seen no data that reflects eutrophication conditions or
Dissolved oxygen – All DO values fell within the normal ranges for %saturation and mg/l. Only one or two
samples where DO levels were abnormally low.
Still need to assess what conditions might have caused them.
Chlorophyll-a – Chlorophyll levels seem to
fluctuate within healthy ranges, with the highest values in shallow waters at
Nitrates – Nitrates are extremely low, meaning
that nitrogen is probably being completely consumed by phytoplankton and
algae. This could hint that nitrogen is
a limiting nutrient in the Gulf and that phosphorous is in large supply. A future opportunity for us could be to start
Bacteria – Bacteria counts are consistently very
low everywhere except Hunters. We need
to do more studies to evaluate the source of the bacteria at Hunters. This might require building CSCR staff and skills to differentiate animal and human bacteria.
The strong tidal flow
is critical for the Gulf, and keeps it fairly well flushed and oxygenated.