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An Assessment of Fecal Pollution in the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon

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Date Issued:
2017
Summary:
Contamination of recreational waters with fecal waste, indicated by the presence of enterococci, can have consequences for human and ecosystem health. The difficulty in determining the extent and origin of fecal pollution in dynamic estuarine systems is compounded by contributions from sources including septic tanks and agricultural runoff. This study investigated fecal pollution at five sites with variable hydrological conditions in the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon. The distribution and occurrence of enterococci was assessed using traditional cultivation. A human-associated microbial source tracking assay was validated and applied in these estuaries using qPCR. Results demonstrated a correlation between enterococci concentrations, rainfall, and salinity. The human-associated assay was sensitive and specific in the lab; however, human fecal pollution was not detected in the field even though samples contained high levels of enterococci. This study highlights the importance of expanding the range of water quality assessment.
Title: An Assessment of Fecal Pollution in the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon.
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Name(s): Perricone, Carlie S., author
McCarthy, Peter J., Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Department of Biological Sciences
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2017
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 71 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: Contamination of recreational waters with fecal waste, indicated by the presence of enterococci, can have consequences for human and ecosystem health. The difficulty in determining the extent and origin of fecal pollution in dynamic estuarine systems is compounded by contributions from sources including septic tanks and agricultural runoff. This study investigated fecal pollution at five sites with variable hydrological conditions in the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon. The distribution and occurrence of enterococci was assessed using traditional cultivation. A human-associated microbial source tracking assay was validated and applied in these estuaries using qPCR. Results demonstrated a correlation between enterococci concentrations, rainfall, and salinity. The human-associated assay was sensitive and specific in the lab; however, human fecal pollution was not detected in the field even though samples contained high levels of enterococci. This study highlights the importance of expanding the range of water quality assessment.
Identifier: FA00005932 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (M.S.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2017.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Dissertations, Academic -- Florida Atlantic University
Indian River (Fla. : Lagoon)
Saint Lucie River Estuary (Fla.)
Enterococcus.
Fecal matter.
Estuarine pollution.
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Links: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00005023
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00005932
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Owner Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.