Nutrient Pollution And Its Effects On The Environment Essays

Nutrient Pollution And Its Effects On The Environment Essays

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Nutrient pollution happens when the amount of nutrients, which is mainly nitrogen and phosphorus, is too much and is overloading a water ecosystem. This pollution comes from many different things: water runoff, agricultural runoff, stream instability, and paved/unpaved roads to name a few (Garton, 2014). Lake Champlain’s problem deals with too much phosphorus in the system, and not so much with nitrogen.
There is a whole cascading effect when there is too much nutrients going into a body of water like Lake Champlain. There is a limit to how much of a nutrient an ecosystem needs before it becomes excessive. When it does, a process called eutrophication begins, where the amount of oxygen in the lake drops (USGS, 2015). When the oxygen level drops, it stresses shellfish and fish, and can even kill them if it is low enough (Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 2015). This is also called a dead zone. Usually, the process of eutrophication is sped up with algal blooms. Algal blooms is a byproduct of nutrient pollution. These blooms block out sunlight to underwater plants, and take the oxygen out of the water when they die and decompose, adding to the creation of dead zones (Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 2015).
Some of these algal blooms are home to blue-green algae, or more scientifically known as cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria release toxins, which contaminates the water. It can potentially sicken humans, while be potentially fatal to animals (Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 2015). Aesthetically, it releases a horrific stench and is visually unappealing, which is bad for maritime businesses along the lake (Hill, 2012). There is no way to predict how bad the blooms will be every year, but the trend is pointing that it will get worse until we do somethin...


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...r standards and requirements, these solutions will be implemented and it will be seen if they are as effective as research points to. If anything, the only true disadvantage I am aware of is that it will cost a lot of money at first, but in the long run it will pay for itself as good maintenance will help save money in the long run, along with the health of the lake.
Vermont, along with New York and Quebec, have a long way to fix Lake Champlain and reduce the amount of phosphorus pollution. With that being said, Vermont is definitely trying, and has plans being set up to combat this problem. In the meantime, there are things that everyday people can do, like not using phosphorus fertilizers in the yard or by not raking lawn waste into nearby streams (Lake Champlain Basin Program, 2015). This problem cannot be ignored and Vermont is hearing the lake’s call for help.

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