In a previous post you learnt about eutrophication and things that can be done on a large scale to stop it, but what about us, the individuals and communities, how can we help the cause? Well in this post we will learn about just that.
So what can we do at home?
- If you live near a body of water you could plant more trees and plants as they can filter the elements that lead to eutrophication. Why not make it a community activity and have a tree planting day? Make sure to receive permission of the land owner first.
- Fundraise and purchase an aerator for your local water body. Hold a charity night to raise money, you could do a pollution quiz. 😉 Aerators are great because they increase the dissolved oxygen level, it will prevent the deterioration of the water. Possibly even saving the inhabitants.
- If you live in a farming community why not have a town discussion on moving to organic farming, if possible. It was found that organic farm land ‘significantly reduce harmful nitrate leaching’¹ over conventional farming methods.
- A side effect of eutrophication is algal blooms – this is what will definitely kill your water bodies if out of hand, so why not have a river/canal/stream clean, and remove some of the algae. Here is a link to the waterways association which can help you getting started.
- Change your cleaning products. Eutrophication and algal blooms have been linked to phosphate which is found in some cleaning products², so make sure you read the labels. I know I will from now on.
- In my home town we have a lot of development, and when they started developing near the canal, our local water body, people protested about wanting silt fences placed around the site to project the canal from sediment in run off. Here is a UK site that can provide them, Hy-Tex. The silt fences are widely used on construction sites because of the low cost and simplicity³, why not fight for them to be used in your area?
Yes most of these tips aren’t directly about the ocean, but streams lead to rivers, rivers lead to estuaries and estuaries lead to the ocean, and your help matters. I hope you find some of these useful, there will be more information to help with algal blooms in a coming post, and remember, every little change can make a difference.
- Kramer SB, (2006) Reduced nitrate leaching and enhanced denitrifier activity and efficiency in organically fertilized soils. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103 (12): 4522–4527.
- Gilbert PA, Dejong AL (1977) The use of phosphate in detergents and possible replacements for phosphate. Ciba Foundation symposium (57): 253–268
- Sprague CJ, (1999) Assuring the Effectiveness of Silt Fences and Other Sediment Barriers. Proceedings of Conference 30, International Erosion Control Association, Nashville, TN. pp. 133-154.
- Feature image.