An Analysis of Pollution in the York River Watershed



McConnell, Taylor H

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This study addresses the lack of a proper mapping assessment of field-level pollution sources for the implementation of pollution management practices. Phosphorus and nitrogen entering streams and rivers contribute to eutrophication as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) production in the York River. Not only do nitrogen and phosphorus enter the river, but manmade chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) do as well. An environmental analysis of the potential contribution of the reduction of nutrients from nonpoint and point sources of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay originating in the York River, Virginia was conducted. The research focuses on three objectives each in their own chapter: 1) What are the main sources of water pollutants in the York River?; 2) How has the water pollution of the York river changed between 1986 and 2013?; and 3) What is the rate of algae bloom expansion and the increase in invasive algae species in the York River? This study finds that the York River has rapidly increased in its pollution over the past twenty-seven years and finds evidence of large amounts algae blooms and loss of animal and fish species in the surrounding area. The study is inconclusive about urban development. Future work in the increase of human development along the river needs to be conducted in order to isolate causes and contributions to the rapid increase of pollution into the York River.



Eutrophication, Chesapeake Bay, Dissolved Oxygen, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, York River