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MN Draft Nutrient Strategy Open for Public Review & Comment

LakeThe State of Minnesota is requesting input from its varied demographics to develop a more effective strategy to reduce nutrient levels. In excessive amounts, phosphorus and nitrogen can pollute lakes, streams, wetlands, and groundwater. Excessive nutrient levels cause algae blooms and low dissolved oxygen levels as bacteria consume algae. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, this is a substantial threat to Minnesota’s waters and aquatic life, as well as downstream waters. Excess nutrients make up 18 percent of Minnesota’s water impairments, and the number is expected to grow over the next 10 years. The “Minnesota Nutrient Reduction Strategy” goals are a 35 percent reduction in phosphorus and 20 percent reduction in nitrogen by 2025.

Depending on the watershed, surface water leaving Minnesota flows north to Lake Winnipeg, east to Lake Superior, and south to the Gulf of Mexico. “With funding from the Clean Water Land and Legacy Constitutional Amendment, we have been able to study and quantify the sources of nutrient pollution entering our own waters, and also going downstream,” says Rebecca Flood, Assistant Commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Chair of the project. “The path to progress with nutrient reductions is a long one. While we have already made substantial progress in reducing phosphorus, we still have a long ways to go for nitrogen and phosphorus to achieve our in-state and downstream goals.”

The draft strategy is open for public review and comment through December 18, 2013. The state-level strategy will be completed by the end of the year. For more information on the strategy development process and opportunities to provide feedback, click here.



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