The Georgica Pond Project is in high gear and in fact has been for five months. With the first indications that The Georgica Pond Project would be a reality, the Gobler Lab commenced its activities to address the major research questions of this project. Some important progress to date is as follows:
1. In January, before the Pond froze over, a research team performed a comprehensive survey of water entering Georgica Pond from groundwater, streams, and tributaries along the north, east, and west boarders of the Pond. These samples have been analyzed to assess the levels of nutrients in them as well as the source of nitrogen in differing regions of the Pond.
2. When the Pond thawed in March, regular monitoring of the Pond commenced, including both discrete, grab sampling and continuous monitoring of surface waters via research vessels.
3. Nutrient budgets have been constructed to quantify the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus entering the Pond. These calculations assess where these nutrients are coming from both geographically and with regard to their ultimate source. Calculations also consider how the nutrients are delivered (i.e. via groundwater, streams, run-off, or the atmosphere). This information will be presented this summer.
4. Our water quality monitoring buoy was ordered, delivered, and installed in May. See the ‘Water Quality Buoy’ to see up-to-the-minute changes in parameters such as temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, blue-green algae, and more. In less than two weeks we have already learned a lot from this device!
5. We are continuing our weekly monitoring of all regions of the Pond as well as the performance of experiments to determine the role of nitrogen and phosphorus in controlling the growth of algae in the Pond.
Future updates will provide information on the status of the Cut and what it means for the near term health of Georgica Pond.