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Coastal SEES Collaborative Research: Restoration, redevelopment, revitalization and nitrogen in a coastal watershed

Excess nitrogen associated with urbanization is a critical threat to the sustainability of coastal systems across the globe. More than half the estuaries in the US show some level of impairment due to excess. Concerns about nitrogen have intensified with the development of watershed implementation plans to achieve nutrient reductions required for compliance with new total maximum daily load regulations. This project is addressing the environmental, social and economic aspects of urban coastal sustainability and is producing insights that could transform assessments and management of coastal sustainability across the globe. The research will resolve key uncertainties about nitrogen dynamics in a vitally important, increasingly common and dynamic land use type in the coastal zone, and directly address the human social and economic factors that underlie the capacity for improving these dynamics: How efficient are stream restoration and installation of green infrastructure in reducing nitrogen delivery to the coast? Are these effects easily overwhelmed by degradation of fundamental sanitary infrastructure? Do coastal residents of different socio-economic status and distance to the coast really know and care about the ecological integrity of receiving waters? Can their knowledge and interest be increased with citizen science efforts? Answers to these questions will point the way forward for cities to address a key component of coastal sustainability on a sounder biophysical, social and economic footing.

Project URL:

Geographic Scope: Baltimore City and County, MD

Project Status: Active - not recruiting volunteers

Participation Tasks: Measurement, Observation,

Start Date: 2014-07-01

Project Contact:

Federal Government Sponsor:

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Other Federal Government Sponsor:

Fields of Science: Ecology and environment

Intended Outcomes: Conservation,