July 24, 2018

Scott Bell will be presenting at the Sixth Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds (ICRW), hosted by the U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, on July 26 at 10:30 am. The title of Scott’s talk is “P-Optimal Wetlands: Assessing the Capacity of Wetlands to Improve Water Quality in Great Lakes Agricultural Watersheds.”

Scott will discuss an ongoing LimnoTech project, supported by USEPA with Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funds and implemented through the USACE Environmental Research and Development Center (ERDC) and USACE Buffalo District. The project is exploring innovative solutions to optimize phosphorus removal using wetlands, called P-optimal wetlands, through appropriate siting, design, and management. The development of P-optimal wetland demonstration projects provides a template to employ nature-based nutrient pollution solutions across watersheds of concern, to address regional (and international) excess nutrient loading and associated harmful algal blooms (HABs) scenarios. LimnoTech engineers and scientists working with Scott on the project are Derek Schlea, Chelsie Boles, and Brian Lord.

Scott will describe how potential P-optimal wetland locations are being identified, report preliminary soil phosphorus sorption capacity (SPSC) results from constructed wetlands in agricultural watersheds, and identify challenges to the development of regional nutrient reduction strategies utilizing natural- and nature-based features including P-optimized wetlands.

The ICRW conference will address the complexities of managing “working watersheds.” Conference topics will address the scientific approaches and adaptive management practices required to maintain aquatic condition and functional integrity of “working” watersheds while balancing issues such as nutrient loading, landscape disturbance, and invasive species. Presenters will include federal and state scientists, academics, NGOs, and others.

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