Water Sampling Program in Buzzards Bay Gets State-Funded Extension

Buzzards BayBUZZARDS BAY – The Buzzards Bay Coalition Baywatchers Monitoring program, which samples water quality throughout the bay each summer, will extend that sampling period into this winter thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The program has monitored local water quality at two hundred sites in the bay each July and August for over 24 years.

The grant money will now allow them to test this January and March, according to Coalition Science Director Rachel Jakuba.

“The value of looking in the winter is that you have a lot less of the biology immediately using any nutrients that go into the water columns,” she said. “The reason we monitor in the summer is because that’s when the effects of nutrient pollution are the worst.”

Jakuba said she predicts seeing a more concentrated amount of nutrients during the winter, since no new algae is growing to “suck them up.”

She said the Coalition uses a scale called the Bay Health Index, and most of the waters in the bay is scattered on measurements. Some pristine sites can be found near Nantucket sound, she said.

A slow decline in water quality has been recorded by these efforts, according to Jakuba.

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