The State of Massachusetts Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Wetlands and Watersheds, states:
Most southeastern Massachusetts estuaries are being impacted by excessive loads of nitrogen. Water quality is getting worse, and many estuaries do not meet the Massachusetts Water Quality Standards. Rapid population growth in the area has resulted in more nitrogen than estuaries can accept, causing poor water quality. Resulting problems include:
- Loss of eelgrass beds
- Algae blooms, unpleasant odors, and scum
- Fish kills
- Reductions in important animal life on the ocean bottom, such as lobster, shrimp, scallops and mussels.
The Massachusetts Estuaries Project (MEP) determines which estuaries are being impacted by excessive nitrogen and identifies the sources of nitrogen pollution, so that communities have the scientific basis for common sense, cost-effective decisions on how to protect and restore their estuaries. TMDLs will guide the changes needed to restore water quality in these waterbodies.