The Impact of Shoreline Development on Water Quality

Research Assistants: Emily Arsenault, Colin Cummings, Monica Davis, Marianne Ferguson, Drew Mealor and Corey Reichler Professors:  Russell Cole and Cathy Bevier As part of the EPSCOR project, students and professors of the Environmental Studies Program and Biology Department are examining the effect of shoreline development on water quality in Great Pond, North Pond and East Pond.  Lakeshore development can negatively affect water quality and the ecology of lake habitats. This summer they are continuing assessments of shoreline habitats in the Belgrade Lakes, both in the riparian zone and in the near shore littoral zone.  In the riparian zone characteristics such as land cover composition, complexity and disturbance, buffer effectiveness, and canopy cover are being measured. In the littoral zone characteristics being studied include sediment composition, macrophyte abundance, macroinvertebrate diversity, and periphyton abundance. These measurements will allow them to compare sites with different development patterns, from highly developed, unbuffered shorelines to undeveloped shoreline. Their results will strengthen our understanding and ability to manage the impact of shoreline development, as well as help to develop better educational strategies to ensure the future health of the Belgrade Lakes.


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