Pasquotank Water Quality Team Abstract
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Title: Water-Quality Assessment of the Pasquotank River Watershed; Analysis of Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Salt, Total Dissolved Solids, and Conductivity

Aurielle Jones, Saint Augustine's College
Antonio Desse Saint Augustine's College
Shaquetta Hassell, Norfolk State University

Mentor: Mr. Jeff Wood, Elizabeth City State University

Keywords: water quality, dissolved oxygen, watershed, tributaries, Pasquotank Watershed, Biology, pH, salt, conductivity

The Pasquotank River Watershed in Northeast North Carolina is fed by multiple tributaries surrounded by varying landforms such as swamp, farmlands, and urban development. Each of these landforms contributes both negatively and positively to the waters they surround. The watershed itself provides an intermediate between spawning grounds at the headwaters and the more open waters of the Albemarle Sound which serves as a nursery area for many fish species, and home to several commercial species. The Pasquotank River Watershed begins in the Great Dismal Swamp along the Virginia, North Carolina border where acid and significant color from dissolved organic matter is contributed.

The 2011 URE OMPS Pasquotank River Watershed Team performed an assessment of the water quality in the watershed area. Assessments took place in several areas including the main channel of the river from Elizabeth City up to the Dismal Swamp Canal. Tributaries were tested on the south side of the watershed were Newbegun Creek and Knobbs Creek. The tributaries on the north side were Areneuse Creek, Mill Dam Creek, and Sawyers Creek.

Samples were taken at predetermined intervals and returned to the university for testing. Tests included dissolved oxygen, pH, salt, total dissolved solids, and conductivity. Field readings recorded were air and water temperature, wind speed and direction, and turbidity measurements using the Secchi disk.

All measurements were placed on-line and correlated to the location of the sample utilizing GoopleMaps. Readings were then be compared to the landforms around the sample and their distance away from the river to determine if any correlations can be formed.