Ninigret Salt Pond

Physical Characteristics

How does fertilizing a lawn affect the pond?

Nitrogen is important in a pond to keep a healthy balance of plant and animal life. Nitrate is a form of nitrogen used by plants to help them grow. Not enough nitrate in the water means not enough growth of plants, algae, and phytoplankton. Too much nitrogen means too much plant, algae and phytoplankton growth. This would upset the balance between plant life and animal life resulting in cloudy water and a lowering the content of oxygen in the water creating an environment harmful to animal life in the pond.

Nitrate enters the pond from the ocean, storm runoff, leaking septic systems, and fertilizers from lawns. Nitrate concentrations in salt ponds increase when the number of houses increase in the area around the pond.. This is due to the growing numbers of septic systems built in homes near the pond and beach areas and the leaching of lawn fertilizers into the pond.