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Why Does "Stormwater Runoff" Get So Much Press?



Storm-water runoff, a type of  non-point-source pollution, carries many nutrient chemicals and other pollutants into our lakes. Phosphorus and Nitrogen are by far the most common of these elements that limit or control the amount and rate of plant growth in aquatic systems. Phosphorous appears to be key. In excess it can contribute to algal blooms, poor water clarity, and reduction of dissolved oxygen that may cause extinction of other organisms.

Lake ecology, the relationship between living things and their environment, is not so simple as pointing a finger at Phosphorous makes it sound, but levels of that one chemical is by far the best single indicator of what we call "water quality."

The water quality monitors which VLMP sponsors throughout the state, various agency personnel, and the Gloeotrichia study discussed elsewhere on this website all feature phosphorous measurement at the top of their task lists.

"So what can I do about that?" you ask.

You can can contribute to the solution rather than the problem by taking actions to limit the potential for water runoff to carry phosphorous and other chemicals down your camp roads, across your lawns and gardens, along your paths, and into the lake.

You may be surprised to learn how you can fit into the care and construction of camp roads or how you can nurture a good buffer against runoff along the edge of your lakeshore property.

Help your watershed by joining the LakeSmart Program today.

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Phone: 207-512-5150

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