Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Science & Environmental Policy


etlands around the world are decreasing, leaving large numbers of waterfowl small areas to inhabit. Dense populations of waterfowl risk destroying small wetlands by decreasing the water quality. Locke-Paddon Park Pond in Marine, California is a small wetland set aside for the Pacific flyway and for a public park. This project looks at the possible effects the waterfowl have on the water quality of the pond through their feces. To test the effect of waterfowl on water quality I selected duplicate sites of three types: waterfowl-without-vegetation, waterfowl-with-vegetation, and no-waterfowl-with-vegetation. The temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, fecal coliform, and phosphate were measured in water from each site from September 2000 to February 2001. With measurements of pH near 8.5, fecal coliform counts frequently more than 10 times higher than EPA standards for human contact of tens of thousands cfu/100 mL, and dissolved oxygen level near 3.0 mg/L, Locke-Paddon Park Pond is not compliant with state regulation. Fecal coliform was higher at the waterfowl-without-vegetation sites with high waterfowl populations (p<0.0001) while there was levels (p>0.05). The waterfowl increased the organic phosphorus through their feces and associated bacteria. Through bacteria respiration, the dissolved oxygen levels decreased while phosphate was released into the pond, increasing the dissolved phosphate levels. Algae photosynthesized, ate the increased phosphate, and increased the levels of dissolved oxygen in the pond. Full body contact should be denied when the water has higher than a continual average of 200 cfu./100mL or a one time count higher than 400 cfu/100 mL. With a maximum measurement of 23,000 cfu/100 mL and an average of 5944 cfu/100 mL in the northern portion of the pond near the parking lot, a meeting with the City of Marina was made to discuss the health hazard. Within 24-hrs of the meeting, the city posted temporary signs to warn the public not to have any body contact with the water. I would recommend that the City of Marina look into discouraging the feeding of waterfowl, posting signs, planting some native plants near the water's edge below the parking lot, changing state classifications of the pond, and possibly sterilizing the domestic geese to insure the longevity of the city's landmark.


Capstone Project (B.S.) Earth Systems Science & Policy Institute