High nitrate levels in Statia’s waters


ST. EUSTATIUS–Concern is growing for marine life near to the shores of St. Eustatius. Monthly measurements of the waters show comparatively high concentrations of nitrates, which could become a problem for organisms that protect and maintain the quality of the island’s aquatic ecosystems.

Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute (CNSI) has been measuring the amount of nutrients such as ammonium, phosphates and nitrates in the coastal waters around Statia since June.

“First data shows that nitrate concentrations are particularly higher near the coast, especially off Lower Tow,” explains CNSI Director Johan Stapel.

“Preliminary data shows that nitrate concentrations are also high in well water and cistern water. Although such concentrations do not pose a public health issue, they could affect the delicate balance that sustain a plethora of small and large sea creatures that inhabit our marine environment.”

Stapel said it is too early to identify the cause of such high concentrations. “The culprit could be erosion, discharge water from the local power plant or contamination from septic tank run-off, or it could be a combination of all three factors. Whatever the cause, we shall track back to the source and find a solution.”

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/60800-high-nitrate-levels-in-statia-s-waters