The Condition Of Georgia's Coastal Waters: Development And Analysis Of Water Quality Indicators
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The Condition Of Georgia's Coastal Waters: Development And Analysis Of Water Quality Indicators

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    Georgia coastal waters are home to commercially and recreationally important species such as fish, shrimp, crabs and oysters as well as the smaller organisms on which they feed. They are also important areas for nutrient cycling and the treatment of waste and runoff. The condition of our coastal waters affects fishing and shellfishing as well as other human uses of the coast, such as boating and swimming. The Coastal Resources Division of the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources collects water quality data in support of a variety of programs. These programs measure different water quality and resource parameters in order to meet diverse goals, and data from them had not previously been identifying those measurements that might be useful indicators of the status of Georgia coastal waters. This project was designed to compile coastal water quality data collected into an integrated database and to identify an appropriate suite of indicator parameters for Georgia waters. This technical report consists of seven main sections. Section 1 provides a background on water quality; Section 2 is a summary of the CRD data sets and a description of the database; Section 3 presents maps of the CRD data along with an analysis of temporal and spatial trends; Section 4 describes correlations among the measured parameters; Section 5 provides the rationale and criteria for the indicators that have been developed for Georgia coastal waters; Section 6 provides initial information on the status of Georgia waters with respect to these indicators; and Section 7 provides recommendations for improving the CRD monitoring programs in the future.
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