Introduction - BIOL/EVPP 350 Freshwater Ecosystems by Dr...

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BIOL/EVPP 350 Freshwater Ecosystems by Dr. Kim de Mutsert Fall 2011
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What will you learn in this class? Limnology: The Science of Inland Waters The study of all physical, chemical, and biological processes in lakes, rivers (streams), and wetlands
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Why is this important? Freshwater ecosystems are at risk Runoff of pollutants from agricultural and urban lands Alteration of natural hydrology Introduction of exotic species and loss of native species
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What has been done to protect freshwater ecosystems? Clean Water Act (1972) Goal: restoring all US lakes and rivers to a fishable and swimmable condition (wetlands were added in 1975) Focused on reducing municipal and industrial wastewater discharges to waterbodies Significantly improved US surface waters
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There is still a long way to go… EPA report to Congress: 43% of rivers, 31% of lakes to contaminated to provide drinking water (after treatment) 40% of rivers and lakes too degraded to support aquatic life fully 32% of rivers, 36% of lakes too contaminated for swimming
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Why protect or restore freshwater ecosystems? Loss of ecosystem services Continued degradation causes substantial economic losses: lost fishing revenues increased cost of treating drinking water lost recreational opportunities
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Some Ecosystem Services
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