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River's complexity defies quick studies

Donald E. Leone Sr. Norwich

Publication: The Day

Published 11/08/2012 12:00 AM
Updated 11/07/2012 05:38 PM

The recent article (Oct. 25), "Brooks may reveal Niantic River's woes," was of interest but not very convincing in the matter of a solution with regard to any problems ascribed to the Niantic River estuary. The article referred to the Niantic River as being called "impaired" by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection amid the report that high levels of nitrogen and pollutants were introduced into the system effecting the aesthetics, water quality, biology, ecology, and chemistry of the system.

The impairments described are probably associated with normal or abnormal runoffs. One might even consider seaweed plants present in the estuary as a positive contribution to the habitat, they filter particulates and allow pelagic shellfish larvae to attach, inhibiting their loss to the open bay, and enhancing the development of shellfish. The haphazard sampling of brook water by a committee that might significantly contribute to the habitat problem is most unlikely.

An impact statement describing the water quality, biology, chemical, and ecological characteristics of the estuary developed into a comprehensive study managed by university professionals to determine the problems and solutions (if any) would best resolve the Niantic River complex dynamics.

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