Capstone Title

National Approach to Nutrient Management for Reduction of Red Tide Events in the Gulf of Mexico

Defense Date

8-2010

Document Type

Capstone

Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management

Second Degree Name

M.S. Marine Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

James Thomas

Second Advisor

Donald McCorquodale

Abstract

Red tide events in the U.S. have occurred for hundreds of years but now are becoming more prevalent in relation to occurrence and size. State in the U.S. have implemented programs for monitoring current events and estimating when and where the next red tide HAB event will occur this information does assist in decreasing some immediate effects, through announcing shellfish consumption bans and beach closures, but does not pose solutions to reducing the nutrient load in the nation's waters. Non-Point Source Pollution Management has become a focus for reducing nutrients in the water. Best Management Practices (BMP) has also been popular as recommendations for coastal and developing areas, but there are little in the form of requirements and states that do not have a coastal zone are causing immense increases to the total nutrient load of the nation's waters. Despite the tools in the Clean Water Act (CWA) for decreasing nutrient loads in the nation’s waters, and the detriment of the red tide to marine and coastal resources, fully utilizing the CW A has not yet occurred. This capstone investigates the extent to which current nutrient management is being implemented for the protection of the nation's fresh and marine waters. There is much room to improve upon the usage of the tools already established within the CW A. The capstone explores recommendations for expanding the use of the CWA to further decrease nutrient load without intruding upon state autonomy.

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