Application of Data from the Grand Bay Estuary System to Enhance Water Quality on the Northern Gulf of Mexico Coast

October 2017

This project develops educational materials and tools to educate the general public and decision-makers about the ways engineered land-use changes affect water quality, fisheries, and human health in the region around Grand Bay, Mississippi. Research from a previous Science Collaborative research project, Legacy Effects of Land-Use Change and Nitrogen Source Shifts on a Benchmark System, will inform the educational materials produced. Researchers reviewed the history of land-use change in the region and how it shifted nutrient and pathogen sources within the Grand Bay system over time. At the end of the project, the research team and stakeholders worked together to determine what educational outreach materials produced from the research results were of the greatest value to enhance local water quality.

The project team produces educational outreach materials for audiences throughout Grand Bay. The materials will raise awareness of the positive and negative effects of land-use change for the general public, community organizations, and decisionmakers within the region. The materials will educate audiences about the ways to preserve and protect Grand Bay from waterborne pathogens and excess nutrients. The team will use science-based information to reinforce the importance of reducing stormwater contamination, improving wastewater management, and implementing land-use planning that takes water resources into account.

The University of Michigan Water Center and partners are working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to implement the NERRS Science Collaborative by coordinating regular funding opportunities and supporting user-driven collaborative research, assessment and transfer activities that address critical coastal management needs identified by reserves.

See: National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative