Monitoring Water Quality at Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA Following Improvements to the Tidal Channel to the San Francisco Bay

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Humberto Bracho, Jai Martinez, Micah Johnson, Adam Turrey, Miguel Avila, Susana Medina, Ernesto Rubio, Elliot Ahumada, Samantha Nguyen and Yarely Guzman, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States
Elliot Ahumada, Esosa Oghogho, Samantha Nguyen, Humberto Bracho, Diego

Quintero, Ashanti Johnson and Kevin Cuff

Lake Merritt is a tidal lagoon in the center of Oakland, California, just east of Downtown. Water

quality at Lake Merritt has been a major concern for community members and researchers

for many years (Pham 200X). Results of past research lead to recommendations to lengthen

a channel that connects Lake Merritt with the San Francisco Bay to improve water flow and

quality. In 2012 the City of Oakland responded to these recommendations by initiating the

creation of a 230-meter long channel. In conducting our research we use a water quality index

that takes into account measurements of pH, temperature, water hardness (dissolved solids),

ammonia, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and nitrate. Newly collected data is then compared with

that collected by Pham using comparable parameters to assess the impact of recent changes

at the Lake on its overall water quality. In addition, we measured the abundance of aquatic

species at four different sites within the Lake. Preliminary results suggest that an increase in the

abundance of fish and improved overall water quality have resulted from channel extension at

Lake Merritt.