Production patterns in Massachusetts Bay with outfall relocation

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On September 6, 2000, the sewage outfall at the mouth of Boston Harbor was relocated 15 km offshore to alleviate pollution in Boston Harbor. The expected responses for nutrients and water column productivity parameters were for values to decrease at Boston Harbor, to increase at the outfall location, and to remain unchanged at the boundary of the near field region within 5 km of the outfall. Average values for water column measurements from 1992 to 2004 indicated these general responses with some exceptions. At the Harbor, nutrients decreased and chlorophyll increased but 14C primary productivity remained statistically unchanged. At the new outfall location and at the boundary of the near field, nutrients increased and chlorophyll increased but primary productivity remained unchanged. Physical factors affecting primary production, such as spring water temperature, stratification, and wind, had more affects on productivity patterns than nutrients from outfall relocation in the near field. A decrease in summer zooplankton after outfall relocation appeared to be due to a region-wide factor rather than outfall effluents. © 2007 Estuarine Research Federation.

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Estuaries and Coasts