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Cypress is leading a specialized team to create hydrodynamic and water quality models of Back Bay of Biloxi, Mississippi (Back Bay). This project supports the the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality’s (MDEQ) Water Quality Improvement Program. The goal of the program is to increase understanding of the estuaries within the Gulf of Mexico.
Modeling of Water Flow and Water Quality
The Back Bay models are being developed using the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code (EFDC) and the Water Quality Analysis Simulation Program (WASP). These models will provide information about hydrodynamics, nutrient sources, fate, transport, and effects on the estuarine system. MDEQ will use the models to simulate different nutrient scenarios. The models take data inputs from point sources and upland land uses and enhance our understanding of their impacts on water quality. MDEQ can determine the most appropriate nutrient limits for total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and waste load allocations (WLAs). This is important as excessive nutrients can lead to algae growth and low dissolved oxygen levels, which negatively impacts marine and estuarine ecosystems. These models support a broad range of ecosystem restoration planning programs. They will be used to evaluate dredging, watershed improvement, marsh restoration, oyster habitat restoration, and other types of environmentally beneficial projects.