Texas A&M University-Kingsvilleresearchers of the South Texas Environmental Institute (STEI) are working with the Loma Alta Aquaculture Facility on the El Sauz Ranch near San Perlita, Texas to refine natural methods for treatment of aquaculture effluents including the creation Field scale wetlands of over 90 acres have been constructed by the owners in three phases based on aquaculture pond and expansion milestones.
The wetlands include sections of emergent vegetation, submerged vegetation, and deep zone mixing basins.
The wetland sections are made up of wetland plants such as black mangroves, Olney bulrush, and California giant bulrush. TAMUK graduate students monitor system performance and make recommendations on vegetation management and other operating parameters.
Removals of up to 85% of active phosphorous nutrients have been observed in several sections. The treated water is re-circulated back to the aquaculture ponds for reuse creating a system that minimizes water loss and environmental impact.
The created wetlands also serve as new habitat for waterfowl such as roseate spoonbills and egrets.
Project PI: Dr. Kim Jones, STEI
Project partners: Loma Alta Aquaculture LTD
Project Sponsor: Loma Alta Aquaculture LTD
Funding Levels: $17,000