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Power plants in estuaries: a review
Kemp, W.M. (1977). Power plants in estuaries: a review, in: Elskens, I. et al. (Ed.) Studie en Beheer van het Mariene Systeem: 4de Colloquium E4-77, Louvain-la-Neuve, 18 juli-5 augustus 1977, vol. 2. pp. 345-357
In: Elskens, I. et al. (Ed.) (1977). Studie en Beheer van het Mariene Systeem: 4de Colloquium E4-77, Louvain-la-Neuve, 18 juli-5 augustus 1977, vol. 2. Vrije Universiteit Brussel: Brussel. 426 pp., more

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Document type: Conference paper


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  • Kemp, W.M.

    There are many relevant issues of natural resource management in the United States and throughout the world. One that has recently received considerable attention in the USA pertains to the use of estuarine ecosystems as sites for development of electric power generating plants. Judicious management of natural resources requires a clear understanding of the conflicts between alternative management plans. Each alternative will have a characteristic suite of effects both on the human economy and on the vitality of natural ecosystems. An important part of the resource management decisioning process is the quantitative evaluation of impacts from these alternatives on natural ecosystems.In recent years much information has been provided, documenting and describing the ffects of power plants on adjacent aquatic ecosystems, although a large portion is in contract reports. Much of the work describes the effects of elevated temperatures on the physiology and behaviour of particular species, and only recently has there been a major effort to characterize power plant effects at the ecosystem level. Indices of plankton and community metabolism may best indicate the health of an ecosystem ( Odum, 1967). The overall energy response of estuaries to power plant discharges can be described with productivity and respiration field measurements. In addition, several investigators (Tarzwell, 1972; Clark and Brownell, 1973) have suggested that ecological problems resulting from thermal discharges may be less significant than problems of plankton entrainment and nekton impingement at the cooling water intake. These effects can also be described in terms of changes of energy flow in the ecosystem. A brief review of the accessible literature for power plant impacts on community metabolism, zooplankton entrainment and nekton impingement is provided here to indicate the relative magnitude of these effects.

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