Pizza from Scratch, 108

29 October, 2007

One of the consequences of lawn fertilizer runoff

© Bill Lemmond (Actually, you're welcome to download and share these web-resolution images, and you probably won't be happy with printing them.)

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There is an area of the Gulf of Mexico, about "about 8,000 square miles (21,000 km2)" (Wikipedia, Gulf of Mexico) that is so choked with algae that little else can live in it. The algae are fed by fertilizer runoff from all the land drained by the Mississippi River and all the rivers that run into it. Louisiana fishermen have to sail beyond this area, before they can start fishing.

I've seen the same thing in small ponds, from local fertilizer runoff. Once the algae takes over, it's hard to recover. My Grandad said it hurt the fishing in the ponds.

The Richmond paddle boat pond isn't choked with water plants, but there are areas around the edge where water plants rule.


I do remember seeing a U.S. government poster that was a picture of George H. W. Bush in hip waders, fishing in a stream. The caption was "Hold the line against non-point source water pollution." That means the source isn't one factory discharging into the water. And just as duck hunters support duck habitat conservation through Ducks Unlimited, the hope is that sport fishermen will join in the effort to protect fishing, once they find out what threatens it.

Please remember Woodsey Owl, who said "Give a hoot - don't pollute."