Monitoring Water Quality at Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA Following Improvements to the Tidal Channel to the San Francisco Bay

Elliot Ahumada, Esosa Oghogho, Samantha Nguyen, Humberto Bracho, Diego Quintero, Ashanti Johnson
and Kevin Cuff

Lake Merritt is a tidal lagoon in the center of Oakland, California, just east of Downtown. Water quality at Lake Merritt has been a major concern for community members and researchers for many years (Pham 200X). Results of past research led to recommendations to lengthen a channel that connects Lake Merritt with the San Francisco Bay to improve water flow and quality. In 2012 the City of Oakland responded to these recommendations by initiating the creation of a 230-meter long channel. In conducting our research we use a water quality index that takes into account measurements of pH, temperature, water hardness (dissolved solids), ammonia, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and nitrate. Newly collected data is then compared with that collected by Pham using comparable parameters to assess the impact of recent changes at the Lake on its overall water quality. In addition, we measured the abundance of aquatic species at four different sites within the Lake. Preliminary results suggest that an increase in the abundance of fish and improved overall water quality have resulted from channel extension at Lake Merritt.

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