Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fertilizers and Dead Zones ….

Much has been written regarding the modern problem of “dead zones” in our waterways … eutrophication or excessive plant growth and decay is the cause of the dead zones, and it has been proposed that excess Nitrogen and Phosphates are the key nutrients or the root of the problem.  Up until some landmark studies, it was thought that the P component was the culprit, but it has become evident that N is also problematic … in a recent article in Science Daily, this study was highlighted.image

The photo at the right shows how the eutrophication can create excess algae and plant growth that chokes off normal growth (Credit: Copyright Michele Hogan).  This problem is prevalent in coastal waterways and ponds that are subject to runoff and leaching from agricultural and yard fertilization.  Increasingly problematic, this man-made problem can be reversed with careful planning.

The dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and the highly polluted Lake Okeechobee in Florida are highly visible examples.  Small ponds and waterways are susceptible also.  We need to take a look at how we can mitigate this problem.  We will introduce ideas in next few blogs that may help solve this problem ….

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