Public meetings for nutrient reduction plan

Mississippi River. Photo by christopherbarnette, Flickr.
Mississippi River. Photo by christopherbarnette, Flickr.

As we’ve posted about over the past few weeks (1,2), a plan to reduce Iowa’s waterway nutrient pollution is under review.

The public can attend three upcoming meeting to learn more about the plan. The first meeting is on the 17th in Denison, the second one is on the 19th at Iowa State University and the last one is on the 21st in Waterloo.

The plan looks to limit nutrient pollution primarily by making wastewater treatment and industrial plants get upgrades that will reduce their pollution. Farming accounts for the majority of nutrient pollution, and the plan calls for farmers to voluntarily reduce their nutrient runoff.

Nitrogen and phosphorous that gets into the waterways can travel down the Mississippi River and contribute to the Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone. The dead zone is an area that’s unlivable for most marine life due to its low oxygen levels. This occurs because the nutrient pollution increases algae activity in the gulf. The algae then consume oxygen in the gulf leaving low levels for other marine life.

Read more about the meetings here.

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