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The Environmental effects of Boat and Motorized Watercraft Wastes on Aquatic Ecosystems

Satisfactory Essays
Boats and motorized watercraft are great for a fun day on the lake, but how fun are they for the diverse ecosystems living just beneath the hull of your boat? Boat exhaust and small traces of gasoline and oil are emitted into the waters when motorized watercraft are running. Boats have been shown to affect water clarity and can be a source of algal growth in aquatic ecosystems. The toxins emitted from boats can add chemicals to the water. Certain amounts of the fuel that is in motors is discharged, unburned, and ends up in the water. Boats may also cause disturbances by creating turbulence and noise thus becoming a problem for larger animals such as large fish or alligators that may be living in the waters. Direct contact of boats or propellers may be a death threat for large animals living in the lake. Pollution from boat exhaust or gasoline spills (if large or consistent) could be toxic to lake wildlife. Boat movement and increased turbidity can affect individual fish directly by disturbing their daily activities such as nesting, mating (including success of eggs), or hunting (including sight-based feeding). Boats may also affect fish and other species through habitat alteration caused by waves or propeller damage.
My hypothesis states that the wastes from boats and motorized watercrafts, if considering the extreme, will in fact alter the lake’s pH and dissolved oxygen levels in areas of frequent boat and motor activity and create a disturbance in the lake’s biodiversity due to the toxins in the various types of fuels burned. Dissolved oxygen and pH levels influence the abundance of fish. In high enough amounts, metals may be toxic to fish, wildlife, and or microscopic animals. Local lake water will need to be tested in order ...

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...e effects on the lake’s pH and dissolved oxygen levels.
The lake’s pH level is slightly acidic at a level of 6 and the lakes dissolved oxygen level is slightly stressful for aquatic life at a level of 4ppm. These slightly stressful levels could be a result of human activity over time and could continue to progress negatively. This could only be determined through years of continuous testing, but is quite possible.

Works Cited

Asplund, Timothy R. The Effects of Motorized Watercraft on Aquatic Ecosystems. Publication. University of Wisconsin – Madison, Water Chemistry Program and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Integrated Science Services, 17 Mar. 2000. Web.
Boat Motors and Water Quality - RMBEL." RMBEL. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2014. http://www.ci.davidson.nc.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/902 http://roundthelake.com/PIER%20WI%20DNR/lakes.pdfp
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