Protecting Water at the Source
The unpleasant truth of neglected watersheds was just radically illustrated this past August in Toledo, Ohio. A combination of heavy rains in the spring and continual fertilizer runoff from industrial farms facilitated for the “bloom” of a toxic microbe, cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) in Lake Erie. The “dead zone” that was created by the algal bloom devastated the aquatic life and forced the city of Toledo to shut down public water sources to near half a million people . This story is all too familiar to more than 400 coastal communities. And the culprit can be reduced back to agricultural fertilizer and a lack of riparian buffer zones. As Doug Gurian-Sherman suggests, adopting an agricultural practice that fosters ecological principles will mitigate many of the problems within watersheds. Read more about industrial agriculture and the explosion of toxic algae at the link provided.