Water Quality Action - Citizen Mapping of standing water algae blooms

G.WillsonAbout 1 min

Water health is water wealth

Eutrophication is a process whereby excessive nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus enter aquatic systems, leading to an overgrowth of algae and other aquatic plants that consume oxygen, which can result in low dissolved xygen concentrations and harm aquatic organisms such as fish and manatees. The following information gathered from web search results could help answer the query.

Efforts to map eutrophication can play a critical role in addressing nutrient pollution and reducing the health crisis of fish and manatees in southern waterways [1]. Policymakers can implement research and monitoring programs to characterize the effects of eutrophication and collect data on nutrient pollution in waterways to inform nutrient reduction strategies [1].

Eutrophication can lead to hypoxia, which decreases dissolved oxygen concentrations, causing fish kills and decreasing biodiversity [3]. In some cases, eutrophication can also contaminate water, which may decrease recreational opportunities for seashore activities [2]. The depletion of oxygen levels may impair or kill fish in large numbers, causing a shift in the species composition [2].

Therefore, by mapping the extent of eutrophication in southern waterways, researchers and policymakers can identify areas that require immediate intervention to reduce nutrient pollution and minimize the harmful effects of eutrophication on fish and manatee populations. This could include implementing nutrient reduction strategies, such as reducing fertilizer use in agriculture and wastewater treatment, as well as improving land-use practices to prevent runoff of nutrients into waterways [1]. By taking such measures, it is possible to prevent the formation of dead zones, reduce the number of fish kills, and maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems for fish and manatees [3].

[1] https://www.wri.org/research/eutrophication-policies-action-and-strategies-address-nutrient-pollutionopen in new window

[2] https://www.unep.org/nowpap/what-we-do/prevent-and-reduce-pollution/eutrophicationopen in new window

[3] https://www.epa.gov/nutrient-policy-data/nutrient-indicators-datasetopen in new window