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C-HAWQ
COASTAL HEALTH & WATER QUALITY

HERBICIDE FATE & TRANSPORT

BaffinBayInsetThis project will begin in the Fall of 2015 and is funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center Environmental Laboratory (ERDC-EL).

Clean water resources are vital to ecosystem development and sustainability, but also human health. This need is magnified in water-limited regions of Texas. Therefore, when utilizing common vegetation control methods like 1) herbicide applications and/or 2) mechanical land clearing it is imperative to ensure that water resources are protected. Herbicides can persist in soils and vegetation allowing for their potential transport to surface and groundwater. Mechanical clearing disturbs the land, leading to an increase in erosion, sedimentation and runoff that degrade water quality and ecosystem function. If both herbicides and mechanical clearing are used there could be increased transport of residual and recently applied herbicides to surface waters leading to greater ecological disruption. As a result, environmental assessments of these vegetation control methods are required to ensure that surface and groundwater resources are not adversely affected and do not pose a risk to ecological and public health.

This research involves controlled lab studies that assess the sorption and degradation potential of triclopyr in field soils both alone and in the presence of surfactants used to improve dispersion. These studies will take place at TAMU-CC, while researcher at the USACE ERDC-EL conduct studies to assess transport of the herbicide in soil columns. Addtional research will monitor field sites where triclopyr is applied to assess its offsite transport.

Dr. Jeremy L. ConkleDepartment of Physical & Environmental SciencesTexas A&M UniversityCorpus Christi, TX 78412

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