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The Environmental Effects Of Boat And Motorized Watercraft Wastes On Aquatic Ecosystems

1088 words - 5 pages

Boats and motorized watercraft are great for a fun day on the lake, but how fun are they for the diverse ecosystems living just beneath the hull of your boat? Boat exhaust and small traces of gasoline and oil are emitted into the waters when motorized watercraft are running. Boats have been shown to affect water clarity and can be a source of algal growth in aquatic ecosystems. The toxins emitted from boats can add chemicals to the water. Certain amounts of the fuel that is in motors is discharged, unburned, and ends up in the water. Boats may also cause disturbances by creating turbulence and noise thus becoming a problem for larger animals such as large fish or alligators that may be ...view middle of the document...

This will be determined by sampling and testing lake water from two different locations. The first location that water will be sampled from will be a launching dock where boats come in and out of frequently. Water will also be sampled from a location that is prohibited to vehicles. These locations should assure a contrast in pH and dissolved oxygen levels if the amount of gasoline emitted from motor vehicles is indeed significant enough to negatively affect the lake’s balance in pH and dissolved oxygen levels.
In order to test my hypothesis, various samples from Lake Tarpon must be tested and compared to the data that is received from testing. Four samples (eight total), will be taken from the two locations previously described. These samples will be retrieved and transported in sterile containers. These samples will be tested for their pH and dissolved oxygen levels. These samples will also be visually observed for their clarity and possible oil shine. The pH levels will determine how acidic the water is in these locations. If a water’s pH level shifts, some organisms will no longer be able to survive in those conditions and thus die off. Dissolved oxygen levels determine how many oxygen molecules the water contains. All forms of aquatic life require dissolved oxygen to live, so maintaining healthy pH and dissolved oxygen level is extremely important in maintaining a diverse ecosystem. pH testing strips will be used to determine the pH levels of the two sites that the samples were retrieved from. Dissolved oxygen tablets, sterile closed testing tubes, and a dissolved oxygen chart will be used to determine the dissolved oxygen levels of the two sites for comparison.
Over the course of two months, samples were repeatedly collected from a local lake in the town of Tarpon Springs, Florida (Lake Tarpon). This lake was considered appropriate for testing and study because it has frequent boat and motorized watercraft activity in specific areas, and areas in which boats and motorized watercraft are prohibited. Samples were able to be collected from two distinct locations. A total of four samples were collected from a launching dock where there is constant boat and motorized watercraft activity. This would mean that...

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