City phosphorus, country phosphorus: can we mitigate P in different environments?

Phosphorus is essential for life, but there is such thing as too much of a good thing. In excess, phosphorus can cause algal blooms, creating dead zones in bodies of water. How do we prevent phosphorus from entering water systems? Katrina Macintosh and her team did a comprehensive review to track phosphorus from diffuse sources to find out.

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Work smarter and harder: a fieldwork fable involving the investigation of lake greenhouse gas emissions

“Are you sure this is the ramp?” my colleague, Dr. Jake Beaulieu asked the head field researcher, Adam Balz, as we drove up to the site.

The three of us took in the view of the crumbling asphalt inclined plane that disappeared into the lake. According to the map, this was the boat launch. But the usage of the lake had changed from allowing motorized craft to “paddle craft only” several years ago, and now the disused ramp was covered in layers of sandy sediment.  

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Edge-of-field scale reduction of fertilizers contamination

In the U.S. agricultural regions such as the Mississippi Delta, on-farm water storage (OFWS) systems can mitigate downstream nutrient-enrichment pollution, especially during spring, as demonstrated by USDA-NIFA-funded researchers from Mississippi State University.

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Protecting Our Beaches From an Unlikely Foe.

Coastal areas are prone to pollution from fecal bacteria, which are known to be associated with viruses and disease. When it rains, roads and sidewalks wash pet and wildlife waste into storm drains, which end up in our waterways. This can endanger human health, and cause economic losses to shellfishing businesses and tourism. A study conducted before and after installation of stormwater filtration infrastructure showed tremendous success in reducing fecal bacteria loads in Wrightsville Beach, NC, and stands as an example for other coastal areas looking to address their fecal pollution issues.

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Don’t Throw That Out! Turning Dairy Waste into Microalgae Products.

Wastewater produced on dairy farms can be a tough challenge for small and medium sized farms. High-tech treatment methods work for large farms, but smaller farms need a more effective way to treat their wastewater. Discharged without treatment, wastewater can highly endanger aquatic systems, deteriorate water quality, and has cost the US billions annually to clean up. This study’s research shows the potential to turn that waste back into commercial products by growing microalgae. Because wastewater is rich in the nutrients microalgae need to grow, it can be harvested and turned into biofuels, biofertilizers, animal feed, and other products. This provides smaller farms with a method to treat their wastewater and turn it into a usable commercial product.

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