Science activity

Science activity #49794, updated 14 December 2022

Operation Baseline Project 2B: Phytoplankton, CSU Maritime Academy

Description / purpose

Planned upgrades to the Sacramento Regional wastewater treatment plant (Regional San) between 2019 and 2021 will reduce total nitrogen inputs by >60% and shift the dominant form of nitrogen entering the Delta from ammonium (NH4) to nitrate (NO3). These changes will affect the Delta in ways unforeseeable with existing knowledge. The focus of this project is to quantify the links between wastewater nitrogen and phytoplankton standing stock, community composition and carbon and nitrogen production. Working in collaboration with the other two Operation Baseline projects, we will: 1. validate in situ monitoring approaches for phytoplankton standing stock and community composition (i.e. using size-fractionated chlorophyll-a and diagnostic phytopigments via HPLC) and 2. provide estimates of ambient and nitrogen-saturated phytoplankton NH4 and NO3 uptake rates as well as C uptake. Phytoplankton N and C uptake rates will be made along spatial gradients in nitrogen and water residence time (Task 1) and in three wetland habitats with varying influence from wastewater nitrogen (Task 3). Together with the other proposals, this project will provide much needed baseline characterization of nutrient processes in the Delta prior to Regional San upgrades.

Activity status

  • 1 Awarded / Initiating (2017)
  • 2 In progress / Ongoing (2017 - 2021)
  • 3 Complete

Funding summary

Total allocated funding: $71,615

Label Value
Contract # or labor code None
Implementing organization California State University [CSU]
Funding organization Delta Stewardship Council
Funding Source Delta Stewardship Council - General Fund
Date of award 2017-06-01
Date of fiscal year-end Not provided
Total award amount $71,615
State type of obligation Not provided
Federal type of obligation Not provided
Reimbursability Not provided
Procurement mechanism Contracted competitive or direct award


Delta regions

Geographic tags

None specified

Products and outputs

None provided