Hood College to Help National Park Service Fight Harmful Algae in Washington, D.C.

Hood staff will help decide on treatment and monitor water quality after treatment

FREDERICK, Maryland—Hood College’s Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies has been awarded a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service to research methods of mitigating cyanobacteria blooms in the constructed lake at Constitution Gardens, a large catchment in Washington, D.C.

Potentially toxic cyanobacteria grew in high concentrations in the lake in summer 2018, and the lake has experienced other toxin-producing blooms in the past that have killed fish and produced noxious odors. Nutrients and defecation from wildlife are among the substances that enter the lake via runoff from precipitation events. That, combined with stagnant water and summer heating, create an optimal habitat for these cyanobacteria.

Hood College staff will help decide which treatment(s) is best for this lake. After a treatment is deployed, Hood will monitor water quality and algae and cyanobacteria growth at multiple locations in the lake monthly during the growing season from April through October and every other month from November through March.

Drew Ferrier, director of Hood College’s Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies, said “We look forward to working with the National Park Service to find ways of controlling harmful and unsightly algal blooms in this beautiful garden.”

Hood College is an independent, liberal arts college, offering 28 bachelor’s degrees, four pre-professional programs, 19 master’s degrees programs, two doctorates and 10 post-baccalaureate certificates. Located in historic Frederick, near Washington, D.C., Baltimore and the I-270 technology corridor, Hood gives students access to countless internships and research opportunities.

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