Presentation on theme: "Nonpoint Source Pollution, Low Impact Development and Wildlife."— Presentation transcript:
Nonpoint Source Pollution, Low Impact Development and Wildlife
What is nonpoint source pollution ? Pollution that comes from many diffuse sources, such as…
Excess fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides from agricultural lands and residential areas
Oil, grease and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production
Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding streambanks
Salt from irrigation practices and acid drainage from abandoned mines
Bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes and faulty septic systems
What is low impact development? LIP is a land planning and engineering design that maintains, as much as possible, the integrity of a watershed.
What is wildlife? Wildlife refers to nondomesticated (wild) animals and plants that live in natural conditions.
The term is very broad and some sources do not recognize plants as wildlife.
What does NPS pollution and LID have to do with wildlife?
Everything that happens in a watershed affects the water that runs over it. Why?
Much of the environment is water based. Water is the universal solvent. Living cells are 70 – 95% water. What happens to the water in the watershed affects, to varying degrees, the organisms that live there.
Let’s look at some examples…
Different organisms have different tolerances of pH levels.
Effects of pH Changes pHEffect of Aquatic Species 3,0 – 3.5Few fish survive, although some inverts and plants do 3.5 – 4.0Lethal to all salmonids (salmon & trout for example) 4.0 – 4.5All fish, most frogs & insects not present 4.5 – 5.0Mayfly & other insects not present; fish eggs don’t hatch 5.0 – 5.5Decomposing bacteria dies, decay stops, plankton gone 6.0 – 6.5Freshwater shrimp not present 6.5 – 8.5Optimal for most organisms 8.5 – 9.0OK for most fish; effects from chemical changes may occur 9.0 – 10.5Harmful to perch and salmonids with prolonged exposure Lethal to carp & perch with prolonged exposure 11 – 11.5Lethal to all fish LaMotte Company handbook
Let’s look at that again…
Dissolved Oxygen Levels DO LevelsEffect on Aquatic Organisms 5 – 6 ppmRequired for growth & activity for most aquatics < 3 ppm Stressful to most aquatic organisms < 2 ppm Will not support fish Oxygen is not only required for survival of most organisms, it is also need for decomposition.
Nitrate-Nitrogen Levels Nitrogen is essential for plant growth, but excess is a major pollutant. Nitrogen compounds can enter H 2 O from fertilizers, sewage, industrial wastes, farm manure. Nitrate levels in drinking water must be ≤ 10 ppm.
Turbidity Refers to how cloudy the water is. Is caused by suspended materials. Sources include eroded soil & excess plankton from too much nutrient. Can kill aquatic plants by blocking light, bury fish eggs and bottom creatures, damage gills, interfere with food-finding abilities, speed distribution of pollutants, and raise surface water temperature by absorbing extra light.
Some others… Iron – high levels can be caused by landfill leakage Phosphates – high levels can cause excess plant growth 7 eutrophication Copper – too much can kill aquatics Water temperature – affects feeding, reproduction and metabolism of aquatics; very important! Why?
Like everything else, too much acts as a pollutant! One week of high temps can make a stream unsuitable for the sensitives, even if the temps are tolerable the rest of the year! Different species have different temp requirements. Optimal temps may be different for different stages of life – eggs and larvae are more sensitive.
How does this affect an ecosystem? o If everything in a food web has different tolerance levels for various pollutants, then consider this…
What are some organisms in Kentucky that might be affected by NPS pollution?
Some aquatics….. Common Spatterdock Stabilizes pond banks and provides cover for many aquatic organisms.
Green Darner Dragonfly aquatic naiadadult
Common Cattail Roots are important food for muskrats, geese, and others. Stands provide cover and nesting habitat for wildlife.
Some riparians… Red-winged Blackbird Eats a variety of plant and animal material including insects. Is prey for raptors; eggs and hatchlings are prey for snakes, birds, raccoons, and others.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail larva adult
Green Heron Is one of the few birds that uses a tool. Will drop bait (insects, worms, twigs, feathers) into water to attract small fish.
Painted Turtle Lives in marshes, lakes, ponds, rivers, and slow- moving streams. Like all aquatic turtles, it digs its nest on the bank. Young need protein from earthworms, insects, tadpoles, etc. but adults eat more aquatic plants.
Some migrants… Bald Eagles nest in forested areas next to large bodies of water. Eat fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, small mammals, etc. Raptors are affected by bioaccumulation.
Osprey Is a fish-eating specialist, with barbed pads on soles to help grip slippery fish. Carries fish with head first (aerodynamic). Often uses man- made structures for nesting.
American Bittern Breed and nest in freshwater marshes with tall reeds. Eat insects (dragonflies, water striders, water beetles, grasshoppers, etc.), fish, crustaceans, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals.
Redhead A diving duck that eats submerged aquatic plants. Builds floating nests or parasitizes another bird’s nest. Live on lakes and ponds.
Who’s responsible for ensuring that we have wildlife for future generations?
In the United States, it is the legal responsibility of state wildlife agencies to manage the wildlife populations within their respective states.
U.S. Department of Interior ↓ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ↓ Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
Among other things, these agencies govern policies and programs affecting threatened or endangered species.
NPS pollution alters habitats and thus can threaten populations of organisms at all points of the watershed affected by the pollution.
Some that are federally threatened or endangered:
Why should you care? Ecosystems are finely tuned systems because the living components evolved together. Changes in the physical or living components can upset the way it functions. You are a part of your ecosystem! You eat and drink from a variety of ecosystems.
You swim, fish, and play in various ecosystems. Some toxins from NPS pollution are known to cause illnesses, diseases, cancers, and birth defects in not just animals but humans too! It costs a lot of money to clean up pollution. That’s money that could be spent in more fun ways.
Additional resources to study: Copy and paste this URL: guidelines.html guidelines.html Scroll to bottom and follow these links: Wildlife Key Point 1—Knowledge of Wild Birds, Mammals and Herps Key Point 2—Wildlife Ecology Key Point 3—Conservation and Management of Wildlife Key Point 4—Issues Involving Wildlife and Society Key Point 1—Knowledge of Wild Birds, Mammals and Herps Key Point 2—Wildlife Ecology Key Point 3—Conservation and Management of Wildlife Key Point 4—Issues Involving Wildlife and Society