220390 Potential relationships between urban development and the trophic status of Tampa Bay and fresh-water lakes in the Tampa Bay watershed, and further the potential effect of this relationship on public health

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 11:30 AM - 11:50 AM

Max Moreno, PhD , National Space Science and Technology Center/NASA, Fellow of the Nasa Postdoctoral Program/Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Huntsville, AL
Mohammad Al-Hamdan, PhD , Public Health Applications, NASA/USRA, Huntsville, AL
Douglas Rickman, PhD , Marshall Space Flight Center/National Space Science and Technology Center/Global Hydrology and Climate Center, NASA, Huntsville, AL
Maurice Estes, PhD , Public Health Applications, NASA/USRA, Huntsville, AL
Background: Lake Thonotosassa is a highly eutrophied lake located in an area with rapidly growing population in the Tampa Bay watershed, Florida. The Florida Administrative Code designates its use for “recreation, propagation and maintenance of a healthy, well-balanced population of fish and wildlife." Despite efforts to improve water quality since 1970, overall water quality has remained below the acceptable state standards, and has a high concentration of nutrients. This condition is of great concern to public health since it has favored episodic blooms of Cyanobacteria. Some Cyanobacterial species release toxins that can reach humans through drinking water, fish consumption, and direct contact with contaminated water. The lake has been historically popular for fishing and water sports, and its overflow water drains into the Hillsborough River, the main supply of municipal water for the City of Tampa; therefore it is monitored in situ for water quality by the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County (EPC). Objectives: Evaluate the feasibility of using remote sensing technology, to facilitate monitoring of water quality in Lake Thonotosassa and similar lakes, further contributing to surveillance systems that benefit public health, tourism, and ecosystems. Methods: Although traditional application of this technology to water quality has been focused on much larger coastal water bodies like bays and estuaries, this study evaluates the feasibility of its application on a 46.6 km2 freshwater lake. Using surface reflectance products from Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra, this study evaluates associations between remotely sensed data and in situ data from the EPC. Results: Associations between remotely sensed data and in situ data from the EPC are determined and their applications to public health are discussed. Discussion/Conclusions: Public health application of remote sensing can improve surveillance of surface water quality standards used by the State of Florida and general indicators of trophic status.

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics
Environmental health sciences
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health biology
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
• Evaluate the feasibility of using remote sensing to identify surface water quality conditions useful to warn and prevent cases and outbreaks of diseases related to harmful algal blooms in urban lakes. • Describe the potential of using remote sensing to facilitate surveillance systems to prevent conditions leading the harmful algal blooms. • Describe the convenience of applying remote sensing to monitoring of surface water quality on urban lakes.

Keywords: Environment, Geographic Information Systems

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: N/A

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because my postdoctoral research is being based on the application of remote sensing technology to public health and coastal ecosystems. Among other reasons; my concentration in Public Health is Environmental health (which can include the topic of my presentation) and I did my dissertation research in the topic of water quality.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.