Progress of Implementation of Nitrate TMDL for the San Lorenzo River, Santa Cruz County, California

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A watershed-related issue examined by the ENVS 560/L Watershed Systems class at CSUMB.

Summary

The San Lorenzo River TMDL for nitrate was the first TMDL written for a water body in the central coast region. The TMDL was first initiated in 2000, when the Central Coast Water Quality Control Board (CCWQCB) approved an amendment to the original Central Coast Basin Plan (Basin Plan). The amendment changed the Basin Plan's unrealistic nitrate concentration goal (which was so low that is was below background concentrations), to the target concentration required by a TMDL for the San Lorenzo. The CCWQCB approved the nitrate TMDL for the San Lorenzo River in September of 2000, and it was finally approved by the EPA in 2003.

Location

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Resource/s at stake

...What environmental resource/s are at stake?...

Stakeholders

...Who are the stakeholders in the watershed? e.g. agencies, non-profits, associations...

Laws, policies, & regulations

...What laws, policies, and/or regulations are involved?...

Systems

... What elements of the biophysical system are/were involved?...

Science

...What scientific studies are or would be relevant / already completed?...

Tools

...What analytical (e.g. modeling) tools were or could be used?...

Action Taken Since TMDL Approval

Much of the implementation plan for the San Lorenzo nitrate TMDL was adopted from the existing Nitrate Management Plan, which was developed for the Basin Plan in 1995 [1]. It was required that Santa Cruz County submit a Report on Nitrate Management Plan Implementation to the CCRWQCB in 2005, 2010, and 2020 [2].

Future research

...What knowledge gaps remain?...

...Suggest a CWSP MS thesis topic that could contribute to the issue...

...Suggest a topic for a hypothetical study that had unlimited resources...

References

  1. CCRWQCB. 2000. Staff report for regular meeting for September 15, 2000: San Lorenzo River nitrate Total Maximum Daily Load. State of California: 1-32.
  2. CCRWQCB. 2000. Nitrate Total Maximum Daily Load for San Lorenzo River, Carbonera Creek, Shingle Mill Creek, and Lompico Creek. State of California: 1-44. http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralcoast/water_issues/programs/tmdl/docs/san_lorenzo/nitrate/slr_nitrate_tmdl_proj_rpt.pdf


Disclaimer

This page may contain student work completed as part of assigned coursework. It may not be accurate. It does not necessary reflect the opinion or policy of CSUMB, its staff, or students.