Great Lakes Delegate CardIt’s lurking everywhere. Slowly moving, flowing into sewers, streams, puddles—contaminating every waterbody it touches. Large rain events and inclement weather force its movement, thrusting it into our water supply.

This out of control monster is composed of harmful nutrients that come from the pesticides and fertilizers used to make grass greener, grow vegetation and protect crops. These nutrients destroy
water bodies and pollute our drinking water, making it dangerous for communities every-
where. These destructive nutrients are a monster that compromises the water we use recreationally—hiding in the pools we swim in, the lakes we canoe on, and the water we drink. It produces deadly environments. Years of excessive nutrient pollution can lead to toxic algae blooms that pose health risks for humans who come in contact with them, and kill ecosystems, permanently disrupting the food chain as we know it.

What can we do to stop it?

The answer is to wage unconventional warfare in the form of green infrastructure. Green infrastructure is an approach to water management that protects, restores or mimics the natural water cycle. It is an effective and economical solution, enhancing community safety and quality of life. It encompasses shoreline protection, native plantings, sediment traps, constructed wetlands, bioswales, streambank stabilization and stream restoration, to name a few. These techniques divert harmful nutrients from water sources and/or filter exposed waters prior to being discharged back into the environment.

But most of all, we can help by not feeding the monster. Use best practices and eco-friendly fertilizer and pesticide alternatives. Get involved with local organizations dedicated to protecting the quality and quantity of drinking water.