Written by EMMANUEL MCCLAIN
Axia University of Phoenix
Instructor TED BREWSTER
Eutrophication is the depletion of oxygen in an aquatic ecosystem. Eutrophication occurs when a body of water enriched with excess nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus from dead plant material and waste. Nitrogen pollution largely derived from agricultural fertilizers and emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels. Phosphorus pollution comes from wastewater treatment and detergents. These elements and compounds make their way to coastal areas through the drainage networks of rivers and streams. This nutrient and phosphorus mix results in increased algae growth that makes water cloudy and unhealthy.
There are two ways for eutrophication to occur; the first is artificial eutrophication through the release of sewage, fertilizers and grey water into natural waterways. The second occurs is naturally occurring over lakes and tributaries that flood and pick up dead vegetation, cattle manure and fertilizer. This can lead to loss of biodiversity, global warming, and pollution of drinking water, fish kills, acid rain, and ozone depletion.
However, the main culprit behind human caused eutrophication is the phosphorus released from sewage, septic systems and fertilizers. This point source pollution enriches the water and causes a buildup of algae and cyanobacteria in the ecosystem. The process of photosynthesis then starts as the begin feeding on the nitrogen and phosphorus enriched environment leading to murky and hard to see through water this is a sign of eutrophication.
My sustainability plan is to educate others on the causes of eutrophication and the effects it has on ecosystems. Increasing awareness will allow many to pinpoint possible sources and causes of eutrophication in their local ecosystems. My first step is to educate myself on the causes and effects of eutrophication. I will research the internet as well as peers reviewed...