Nutrient Pollution : Causes, Impacts And Solutions

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Nutrient Pollution in Our Waterways
Causes, Impacts and Solutions
James Gracie
University of Maryland University College

Environmental Change and Sustainability
NSCI 362
Professor Dennis Whitford
June 28, 2015 Nutrient pollution is responsible for hundreds of dead zones across the world’s oceans lakes and estuaries, and the number and size of them is growing. Many of these dead zones cover thousands of square miles where almost nothing lives (National Science Foundation, n.d., Worldwide Dead Zones section, para. 1). Nutrient pollution, also known as eutrophication occurs when nutrients, most commonly nitrogen and phosphorus, from industrial, agricultural, residential, and airborne sources enter the water in high concentrations. This process results in water that is too rich in nutrients. This in turn causes a chain of events that can cause widespread ecological damage to both aquatic ecosystems. In order to reduce nutrient pollution to sustainable levels and prevent a manmade ecological disaster, mankind must stem the flow of nutrients into our waterways by regulating the sources that contribute to it.
To address the problem of eutrophication, the causes must first be understood. Most causes of eutrophication are well known and documented. One of the largest source contributors to the problem of eutrophication worldwide is the burning of fossil fuels, which releases nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere which are later deposited onto the ground and in
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