Urban Ocean (Coastal Ocean Near Centers of Urban Populations)

SS9.01: Ecosystem Science Practiced in an Urbanized Estuary: South San Francisco Bay
Organizer: James E. Cloern, U.S. Geological Survey (jecloern@usgs.gov)

South San Francisco Bay is a coastal basin surrounded by the urban watershed between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. This urbanized estuary has been the site of sustained observation and research since April 1969 when the USGS began a program of hydrographic sampling that has continued and expanded to include partnerships with local agencies and academic scientists. This series of talks will illustrate an approach of ecosystem science built around the integration of data from monitoring and field experiments with conceptual and numerical models to explore dynamics of a coastal ecosystem influenced by natural forcings and human activities. Lessons from long term study of South San Francisco Bay illustrate the general importance of, for example: topographic controls on circulation and ecosystem functions; the coastal ocean as a source of estuarine variability; light limitation of primary production in a turbid nutrient-rich environment; short-timescale variability of suspended sediments from tidal and wind wave re-suspension; ecosystem benefits of waste treatment mandated by the 1972 Federal Clean Water Act; benthic-pelagic coupling mediated by bivalve suspension feeders; disturbance by alien species; river flow as a mechanism of physical-biological variability; and system responses to periodic, tidally influenced, salinity stratification.

SS9.02: Sources, Transport, and Fate of Contaminants in the Southern California Bight
Organizers: Burton Jones, University of Southern California (bjones@usc.edu) and Libe Washburn, University of California, Santa Barbara (washburn@icess.ucsb.edu)

The Southern California Bight is a heavily urbanized section of the coastal ocean, where over 20 million people live along the coastal corridor. Many pollutant sources have existed within this region, some of which continue to deliver chemical and biological contaminants to the coastal waters. For example, wastewater outfalls have historically provided significant contributions of coastal pollution, while storm water-water discharges from the region’s rivers and creeks are now recognized to be major contributors of pollution to the coastal margin. Once contaminants enter the coastal ocean, a variety of oceanographic processes contribute to their transport, dispersion, and fate. We invite submissions that discuss observations and/or models of the sources, transport, and eventual fate of these coastal pollutants.

SS9.03: Developing Ecosystem-based Products for Ocean and Estuarine Management
Organizers: Elizabeth Turner, NOAA Coastal Ocean Program (elizabeth.turner@noaa.gov) and Andrew Pershing, Cornell University (ajp9@cornell.edu)

The delivery of comprehensive information products and technologies applicable to specific ocean and coastal management issues remains a challenge for ocean science programs. In general, ecosystem studies have been committed to producing data and information products such as technical reports, peer-reviewed publications, data bases, and numerical and conceptual models, with little, or only passing, consideration for their relevance to management problems. This session will present results of scientific studies that are directly applicable and transferable to management issues. Contributions are sought that highlight prediction, assessment, or hindcasting of ocean/estuarine ecosystem conditions and their effects on marine management issues, as well as papers that describe the transfer of information from ecosystem studies into the management arena.

SS9.04: Understanding the Physiological and Community Ecology of Invasive Species
Organizer: Doug Miller, University of Delaware, College of Marine Studies (dmiller@udel.edu)

Introduction of non-indigenous species is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for bioinvasion. Expansion or extinction of a new species depends critically on its ability to grow, reproduce and disperse in the new habitat. Physiological responses to the environment (survival, growth and reproductive) as well as ecological interactions (behavioral and trophic) in part determine an invader’s fate. This special session highlights research examining such aspects of invasive and nuisance species in the context of the habitat and biological community into which they are introduced. Are environmental tolerances and/or native species in fact constraints on what would otherwise be successful invasions? Does one invader facilitate another? Do potential invaders have commonalities in biology and ecological roles that determine their success? Can we predict likely invader species and identify those habitats most at risk? We welcome presentations representing a wide variety of taxonomic groups and the full range of marine and freshwater ecosystems.

SS9.06: Dynamics of Pathogens in Marine Systems
Organizers: Alexandria B. Boehm, Stanford University (aboehm@stanford.edu) and Rachel T. Noble, University of North Carolina (rtnoble@email.unc.edu)

Allochthonous and autochthonous pathogens at urban estuaries and beaches are a growing concern for managers of coastal waters in the United States. Their presence potentially creates health threats for swimmers, contamination of aquatic food sources, aesthetically unpleasant waters, and economic hardships for surrounding communities that depend on aquaculture and tourism. In addition, many sources of fecal pathogens are also rich in nitrogen and phosphorous, making them directly linked to eutrophication, harmful algal blooms, and dramatic aquatic ecosystem disruption. The identification of pathogen sources and their mitigation requires a multi-disciplinary understanding of coastal ecosystems, biochemistry, oceanography, engineering, and hydrology. The purpose of this session is to bring together researchers who specialize in understanding sources of pathogens, their fate and transport, and potential means for mitigation of fecal contamination in coastal waters. Research in the following areas is relevant to this session:

  1. Rates of inactivation and degradation of water-borne pathogens in the coastal ocean.
  2. Interaction of water-borne pathogens with abiotic and biotic marine ecosystem components, including marine sediment.
  3. Ecology of bacterial pathogens in coastal waters.
  4. Environmental reservoirs of pathogens in estuaries and the coastal ocean.
  5. Techniques for rapid detection of pathogens in sea water.
  6. Evaluation of marine bathing water policies.
  7. Water quality indicator and pathogen relationships.
  8. Modeling microbial pollution at urban beaches.
  9. Dilution, fate, and transport of pathogens and indicator species in coastal waters.

SS9.07: Oceans and Human Health
Organizer: Sunny Jiang, University of California (sjiang@uci.edu)

The objective of this special session is to explore the links between the ocean and human health. The recent Request for Application, issued jointly by the National Institute of Environmental Health and the National Science Foundation, best summarizes this need: Oceans have become conduits for a number of environmental threats to human health. At the same time, oceans harbor diverse organisms that show great promise for providing new drugs to combat cancer and fight infectious diseases. To guard against such health threats and to take advantage of the medicinal benefits that oceans might provide, the impacts of the oceans on human health must be more fully explored and new research efforts directed to this area. This session encourages submission of research papers including but not limited to the following three areas. 1) Harmful algal blooms (HABs) 2) Water- and vector-borne diseases 3) Marine-derived pharmaceuticals and probes.



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