High-frequency fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) observations to assess water quality drivers at an enclosed beach
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High-frequency fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) observations to assess water quality drivers at an enclosed beach

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  • Journal Title:
    PLOS ONE
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  • Description:
    Fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) are monitored at beaches to assess water quality and associated health risk from recreational exposure. However, monitoring is generally conducted infrequently (i.e. weekly or less often), potentially leading to inaccurate assessment of water quality at a beach at the time of use. While some work has shown that FIB in marine environments can vary over short (e.g. subhourly) time scales, that work has been mainly focused on ‘open’ beaches. ‘Enclosed’ beaches—those that are partially barriered from exchange with offshore water and thus have different residence times and mixing dynamics in the nearshore environment—have been less studied. Here we present results from a high-frequency (once per 30 minutes) FIB sampling event conducted within a Central California, USA, harbor over 48 hours. FIB concentrations at this enclosed site were more variable at high-frequencies than what has been reported at open beach sites. Correlation and regression analyses showed FIB concentrations were most strongly associated with chlorophyll a concentration, turbidity, wind speed, and tide level. Results indicate the importance of measuring FIB concentrations and explanatory environmental parameters at appropriate temporal resolutions when conducting water quality monitoring or source tracking studies. Overall, this work highlights how high-frequency sampling can effectively provide information about water quality dynamics at beaches of interest.
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    PLOS ONE, 18(6), e0286029
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  • ISSN:
    1932-6203
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    CC BY
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    Library
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