Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Earth and Ocean Sciences

Sub-Department

Earth and Environmental Resources Management

First Advisor

Dwayne Porter

Abstract

One of the major concerns to the health of the environment in the Southeast United States is population increase and the resultant urbanization associated with the influx of people. Research has proven that this increased development can result in numerous landscape changes that can affect local ecosystems in various ways. In the case of Lake Murray, the presence of the reservoir has attracted and continues to attract urban development. Population growth, urbanization and the associated changes in landscape have the potential to significantly change the rate and quantity of point source as well as non-point source (NPS) pollution runoff and therefore, the environmental conditions in the watershed. This research examined land cover types surrounding the waterfront of Lake Murray to give a snapshot of the current state of the lake and a glimpse at what the future holds for the reservoir and the surrounding community. In this study, water quality data from SCDHEC and SCE&G were individually analyzed and compared to establish baseline trends in water quality for the reservoir. Data sets from both agencies were used to examine overall and site specific variation of the following water quality parameters: dissolved oxygen (DO), pH, turbidity, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), inorganic nitrogen, organic total nitrogen, phosphorus, chlorophyll a and fecal coliforms. Analysis of individual parameters was used to provide a simple visual graphic of annual and site specific trends. For each parameter, the mean was calculated and plotted against individual years and stations. The study was concluded with a complete proposal for a public awareness campaign to promote individual action to aid in the alleviation of environmental pressures. The campaign was developed to create sustainable awareness for pollution issues and their relationship to water quality on Lake Murray as well as to raise awareness among citizens that they can personally participate in improving water quality of the reservoir.

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