Upper Newport Bay and Lower Santa Ana River
Watershed, California Water Quality Management

The Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board designated the Upper Newport Bay watershed for intensive study as part of a watershed-based water quality management initiative. Dr. Lee worked through Silverado, a design-construct consortium of firms responsible for construction of a 26-mile toll road through Orange County, CA, the Orange County Transportation Corridor Agency, and the County of Orange Public Facilities & Resources Department. The primary area of concern was the identification, evaluation of water quality significance, and management of aquatic life toxicity entering Upper Newport Bay from its watershed. Upper Newport Bay's watershed is approximately 40% urban, 40% agriculture, and 20% undeveloped. Studies determined that organophosphorus and carbamate pesticides were significant causes of aquatic life toxicity in tributary waters for the Bay.

An Evaluation Monitoring approach was developed and followed to find real, significant water quality use-impairments, and to determine the cause of those impairments and the source of the constituents responsible for them. Such an approach fosters the development of technically valid, cost-effect approaches for managing water quality impacts associated with urban area, highway, and agricultural stormwater runoff. The Upper Newport Bay program was conducted as a watershed-based, water quality evaluation and management program in which stakeholders including the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, County of Orange Public Facilities & Resources Department, the Transportation Corridor Agency and others participated in formulating and implementing the program.

Reports and publications developed by Dr. Lee on these studies are available, as is additional information on his experience and expertise in this and other areas.

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