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Agricultural Runoff Fueling Aquatic Overgrowth
Over the past several years, the backwaters of the upper Mississippi River have seen an increase in duckweed and algal blooms, growing into thick, green mats on the surface of the water. The free-floating flora is a nuisance for anglers, boaters and swimmers alike, but the overgrowth is problematic for the aquatic ecosystem as well.

Layers of scum can block out light, preventing photosynthesis in other species growing below the surface. Decomposing plants use up the water’s dissolved oxygen, choking out fish and forcing them into the main channel.

Efforts to reduce excess nutrients — particularly phosphorous — through adaptive land management are underway in Wisconsin, but more land use improvements are needed for the river to return to healthy levels.

 
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7,400 Pounds of Phosphorus Removed From Lakes - About 7,400 pounds of weed-feeding phosphorus was diverted from reaching our waterways last year, according to the 2014 State of the Lakes annual report, released this week. That’s significant, because every pound of phosphorus can produce 500 pounds of lake algae.


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