The term "water quality" refers to the chemical and physical properties of a given body of water.
Environmental scientists are often concerned with the temperature, salinity, or presence of
dissolved substances in natural waters because of their effect on animals and plants. These
aspects of water quality are also of great importance to community leaders because of our reliance
on water for drinking, food production (fisheries and farming), transportation, and industry.
For example, approximately 52% of the land area of Terrebonne Parish (in which LUMCON is located)
is covered with water, 70% of the work force is employed in maritime industry (mineral and oil
exploration, ship building, fishing, etc.), and the annual fishery revenue is over $65,000,000
(Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government statistics, http://www.tpgov.com).
With such strong ties to the bayous, marshes, and Gulf of Mexico, water quality is a prime
concern for our citizens.