The Tribe conducted an extensive investigation and data collection of water quality parameters to create an initial baseline survey completed in 1995. This survey will give us a five-year reference for water quality, which should define trends in mitigation response, pollution influences, coastal processes, and evolution of surface water quality. Data was collected for the following parameters POC/PON, dissolved nitrates, Total Dissolved Nitrogen, Ammonium, Ortho-phosphate, coliforms, chlorophyll a, silicates, petroleum hydrocarbons, metals.
A Continuous phytoplankton analysis, which categorizes the abundance, variety and prevalence of all known phytoplankton while identifying any newly occurring species is an essential part of the Tribe’s ecosystem analysis. These species are considered beneficial as a food source to shellfish. Some however become toxic to humans as they are digested by the shellfish and toxins accumulate into hazardous quantities within the shellfish organs and digestive system.
Conduct a continuous series, thirty day periods, of in water remote monitoring of oceanographic and water quality parameters. The YSI 6000 water quality sondes have the ability to remote sample for periods of up to one month. These units will be deployed remotely to collect constant data throughout the day and night throughout all tide stages. This information is essential to accurate analysis of the water quality data.
The Tribe is in the process of conducting a bathymetry study, mapping, and aerial photography of nearby coastal ponds. The physical characteristics of the surface waters are important to the waters circulation, recharge, flushing, fisheries and wildlife habitats, and human uses of these surface waters, i.e. fishing, swimming, boating.
The Tribe will establish capability to conduct laboratory analysis of coliforms bacteria in a Tribal water quality laboratory. This will include hiring staff or consultant to coordinate the establishment of the laboratory and the equipment to be utilized, coordinate permitting and lab certification process, training in laboratory quality assurance and quality control, laboratory safety, and sample preservation.
Tribal members have been trained to collect and analyze water quality samples and perform water quality monitoring duties. The Tribe supports toxicology testing to prevent harmful exposure to human pathogens contained within shellfish. Biological sampling is used to insure the health of shellfish populations. Samples of resident shellfish are collected and sent to contract laboratories for the identification of shellfish pathogens, toxicological, and biological analysis.