Topanga Lagoon is a remnant lagoon of only 1.8 acres, confined by steep fill slopes. Although Topanga Creek remains one of the most biologically functional creeks in the Santa Monica Bay, the compromised condition of the lagoon is a serious problem. Planning is currently underway to develop a strategy for restoring Topanga Lagoon. The RCD has been monitoring water quality and species presence/abundance in the lagoon since 2001. Because this is such a small area, Topanga Lagoon provides a great site to integrate understanding of lagoon/ocean interface problems, water quality and species response to habitat limiting conditions.
Monitor the water quality, condition, and function of Topanga Lagoon. Students will conduct a systematic, comprehensive snap shot survey of the lagoon condition.
What will the students be doing?
- Students will use a variety of tools to measure water quality parameters (temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity) on site and collect samples for laboratory analysis of nutrients and turbidity.
- Students will also use transects to map lagoon configuration and document abundance and species composition of primary producers (i.e., algae).