Girl Planting seeds

Researchers track hurricane’s effects on river pollution and beneficial bacteria

Sherman and Shuai, both members of Peter Jaffe’s research group in civil and environmental engineering, had come to investigate nutrient cycling and pollution along the Neuse River in the wake of Hurricane Florence, a September storm that drenched eastern North Carolina with more than 20 inches of rain and led to near-record flooding along the river. Sherman and Jaffe had recently wrapped up a two-year study on the Neuse, but extended their project to explore the effects of the hurricane.  Much of the Neuse is lined with hog farms, and while some of the animals’ waste is treated and used as fertilizer, many excess nutrients from the farms’ open-air cesspools wash into the river. This overload of nitrogen-based nutrients can lead to harmful algal blooms that threaten water quality and disrupt the ecosystem.  Read more...

 

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