A lagoon is a shallow water body which barrier islands, coral reefs or sandbars separates from the ocean. Usually, lagoons occur on gravel and mixed-sand coastlines. They are common in various places worldwide. Before we look at what we can do to help, it’s important to understand types of lagoons, and their flora and fauna habitats.
Coastal lagoons are those which barrier islands or sandbars shelter. They form along certain coastal plains. They are gently sloping or flat landscapes. Usually, coastal lagoons occur in places with low tidal ranges. During their formation, a shallow basin adjacent to a shoreline erodes little by little hence allowing the ocean to seep in between barrier islands or sandbars.
A coastal lagoon ’s depth and size primarily depend on the sea level. When it is low, the coastal lagoons appear as swampy marshes but when the sea level is high, the lagoons resemble bays or coastal lakes.
Lagoons having adequate protection from an open ocean are an ideal freshwater habitat. However, their salinity fluctuates depending on the prevailing season. Coastal lagoons which protect surrounding landscapes from violent ocean waves are ideal harbors.
Atoll lagoons resemble coastal lagoons. However, coral reefs protect them instead of barrier islands or sandbars. They are commonly found in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific. Atoll lagoons occur as coral reefs form near volcanic islands. After a long period, the island bulges inside the ocean leaving behind a series of coral reefs. Over time, the reefs grow to atolls hence protecting the enclosed lagoon.
Most atoll lagoons are saline ecosystems. The organisms outside the lagoons are the same ones found inside. Due to their ringing atoll, such lagoons shelter an array of indigenous species including jellies and fish.
Water present in atoll lagoons is light blue in color as a result of the shallow depth. The lagoons also interact with limestone. Coral sand and coral reefs comprise of limestone. As it dissolves in the lagoon, it causes the water to have a striking blue color.
How you can assist In Conserving a Lagoon
Algae are common in most lagoons. They cause unpleasant odors. Also, they obstruct adequate sunlight from reaching an ocean’s floor. Here are some tips on how to control algae growth in a local lagoon.
Get rid of the algae
Removing algae is not easy since it entails biological, chemical or mechanical treatments. Usually, chemical treatments are effective. However, they pose some serious ecological threats especially through application of copper salts such as copper sulfate. The salt is toxic heavy metal that adversely affects animals, human beings, and plants.
Also, mechanical treatment is cumbersome since it’s performed frequently to inhibit the growth of new algae species. Biological treatment is an eco-friendly approach that most ecologists have recommended for a long time.
Bacterial treatment involves using unique bacterial strains common in pristine water bodies. The organisms easily increase water clarity by reducing the water’s nitrate and phosphate concentration. Once you introduce the bacteria in the lagoon, they rapidly multiply and digest thick sludge present in the lagoon’s bed.
As organic matter accumulates in the water, it releases nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous as decomposition commences. It creates extremely high nutrient levels in water which facilitate rapid growth of algae. At night, the algae consume oxygen present in water. Oxygen deficiency inhibits the growth and development of other marine organisms.
Sunlight is a vital element that promotes the growth of algae. Its intensity is directly proportional to the population of algae in a water body. There are modern biological techniques that efficiently block sunlight hence controlling the growth of algae. Besides, they promote bacterial degradation which leads to nutrient depletion.
A variety of companies manufacture black and blue dyes with a high blue-dye concentration. However, some firms add extra yellow dyes to their products that adequately block more sunlight. They have a high blocking capability.
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