NYC Lakes: Challenges, surprises and unintended consequences
About Dr. Brett Branco
Dr. Brett Branco is a marine scientist in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at Brooklyn College specializing in the dynamic processes of shallow urban lakes and estuaries. Since arriving at Brooklyn College in 2009, he has worked on water quality issues and their solutions in the lakes of NYC Parks and in Jamaica Bay. Currently, Dr. Branco serves as the Director of the Urban Sustainability Program at Brooklyn College and is an active contributor to the work of the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay.
About the Seminar
Managing shallow urban lakes in the parks of New York City presents a grand challenge. In the past few years, fish kills, blooms of toxic cyanobacteria and loss of aesthetic and recreational value have occurred in parks throughout the five boroughs. In the summer of 2015, sampling of over 15 lakes and ponds in the NYC Parks system revealed that high nutrient loading is likely a key contributor to poor conditions. However, variation in physical characteristics, ecological responses and human interactions require a variety of management responses tailored to each individual lake and pond. The story of Prospect Park Lake highlights some of the challenges, surprises and unintended consequences of managing urban lakes. Some of the potential strategies for improving water quality including barley straw installations, hydrogen peroxide applications and inflow treatment will be reviewed.