2015 Abbott Marshlands Science Award
On March 17th, the first Abbott Marshlands Science Award was presented to Daisy DePaz, a Trenton Central High School student, for her Outstanding Wetlands Project, “Does Land Use Affect Water Quality? Assessing the Health of the Assunpink Watershed.” Her project was part of the Mercer Science and Engineering Competition held at Rider University. Kelly Rypkema, nature center manager, presented the award.
Daisy DePaz has been a mentee with the ScienceMentors Program for three years. Her mentor is Rebecca Traylor.
This award, given for the first time in 2015, is intended to raise awareness of the unique opportunities offered for science study at the Abbott Marshlands and is a collaboration between the Friends for the Abbott Marshlands and the Tulpehaking Nature Center. It is awarded for a senior division project that best addresses:
-and/or was carried out at the Abbott Marshlands.
For information about the Tulphehaking Nature Center programs see: www.mercercountyparks.org/facilities/tulpehaking-nature-center
Photos: Peter Borg, Rider University Photographer
||Does land use affect water quality? Assessing the health of the Assunpink Watershed
||Daisy DePaz — #1070
||Earth and Environmental Sciences
Stormwater runoff is water from precipitation that flows across land and paved surfaces before entering local waterways or sewer systems. As stormwater flows over the ground, it picks up pollutants, including animal waste, excess fertilizers, pesticides, and other toxic substances. These pollutants are carried in the waterway, negatively impacting water quality. This project examines the relationship between water quality and stormwater runoff from adjacent land uses in the Assunpink Creek watershed. Samples from six (6) locations along the Assunpink Creek located in Mercer County were taken on August 24, September 7, and September 18, 2014 and tested for Coliform bacteria, dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen demand, nitrate, phosphate, pH, and turbidity. The drainage area to each sample location was then calculated using the United States Geological Survey Stream Stats Program. Using the NJ Department of Environmental Protection 2007 Land Use/Land Cover geospatial data, the land use characteristics of each drainage area were quantified. Drainage areas with a higher percentage of urban land cover had higher quantities of nitrate and phosphate, indicating poor water quality. Additionally, the drainage area with the highest percent agricultural cover had the lowest dissolved oxygen saturation, again indicating poor water quality. As such, it can be correlated that the attributes that reflect water quality is affected by adjacent land use.