The latest issue of Madison’s Capital Times has an excellent cover story exploring a new effort to reduce the amount of phosphorus that ends up in Madison lakes. As the article points out – each pound of phosphorus that enters our waterways can fertilize the growth of up to 500 pounds of blue-green algae.
Yahara Pride Farms is an affiliate of the Clean Lakes Alliance and, in our opinion, is on the right track to addressing the impaired water quality of our lakes. Agriculture is, far and away, the leading contributor of nutrient pollution to Wisconsin waterways. And, according to the article, of those farms, 30 percent of the fields are responsible for contributing 70 percent of the phosphorus. Helping those farmers reduce their runoff by updating nutrient management plans, planting cover crops and changing tilling practices will go a long way toward meeting clean water goals.
Sure, the state’s surface water may currently seem to be frozen solid, but it’s nice to know that there are folks out there working to ensure that we’ll continue to get to enjoy our lakes once they’re back in liquid form.
To read more on phosphorus and Madison’s efforts to clean its lakes, see our post from last Earth Day.