Water in the Changing Coastal Environment of Delaware (Project WiCCED)

Project Status

Water in the Changing Coastal Environment of Delaware (Project WiCCED) is a multi-year National Science Foundation EPSCoR – funded effort that includes a consortium of scientists and educators from University of Delaware (UD), Delaware State University, Wesley College, and Delaware Technical and Community College. Information about Project WiCCED is located at https:\\projectwicced.org. DGS is a co-leading two research experiments as part of Project WiCCED.

One experiment, with Dr. Holly Michael, doctoral student Mary Hingst, and post-doctoral researcher Chelsea Peters of the UD Department of Geological Sciences is studying salinization of groundwater in the area east of Dover through direct monitoring and numerical simulation. This experiment builds on a previous DGS study (https://www.dgs.udel.edu/projects/east-dover-groundwater-flow-model) and resultant publication (https://www.dgs.udel.edu/publications/ofr52-results-groundwater-flow-si…) that document increased risks for saltwater intrusion and loss of aquifer yield. More than 30 water level-salinity sensors are being operated in wells, streams, and ponds. Data are being used to design and calibrate a density-dependent groundwater flow simulator that will quantify the links between groundwater pumping and saltwater intrusion.

The second experiment, with a team led by Dr. Bill Ullman of the UD School of Marine Science and Policy, and Dr. Deb Jaisi of the UD Department of Plant and Soil Science is studying sources and impacts of plant nutrients in the Murderkill River and estuary. This experiment builds on experiences and successes of the NEWRNet study of Coursey Pond (https://www.dgs.udel.edu/projects/newrnet-north-east-water-resources-ne…) and resultant publication (https://www.dgs.udel.edu/news/new-article-cyanobacterial-blooms-coursey…). Year one efforts included operation of multi-parameter water quality sensors and sampling for pond chemistry and flow and genomics of phytoplankton in the pond.