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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.
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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
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.
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.
Nitrate-Nitrogen Levels • Nitrogen is essential for plant growth, but excess is a major pollutant. • Nitrogen compounds can enter H2O 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? • 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 naiad adult
Common Cattail • Roots are important food for muskrats, geese, and others. • Stands provide cover and nesting habitat for wildlife.
Bullfrog Adult Tadpole
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.