Habitat Issues



Excessive nutrient input to Mt. Hope Bay from septic systems, fertilizer, wastewater treatment and other point and non-point sources can lead to a chain of events called eutrophication. This is one of the most serious problems facing Mt. Hope Bay as well as other estuaries in the region.

Eutrophication leads to phytoplankton blooms and replacement of eelgrass habitat with macroalgae habitats.

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Eutrophication often leads to prolonged periods of low oxygen levels in bottom waters. This in turn can reduce habitat suitability to fishes and benthic animals. The MHBNL Team has found evidence of such conditions in Mt. Hope Bay.

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Eelgrass Beds

Eutrophication is the probable cause of the disappearance of eelgrass from Mt. Hope Bay in the last two decades.

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The School for Marine Science and Technology
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
706 South Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford, MA 02744-1221
(508) 910-8193 • FAX (508) 910-6371
Brian Rothschild, P.I: brothschild@umassd.edu
Changsheng Chen, MHBNL Modeling Program Manager: c1chen@umassd.edu

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