Water Pollution Effect: Nutrient Pollution

According to the

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


nutrient pollution

is the widely spread all over in the coastal ocean. This causes an chronic environmental problem. The harmful discharges of phosphorus, nitrogen and several nutrients arise from fossil fuel use, coastal development, waste disposal, and agriculture. After reaching the coastal zone, the nutrient pollution stimulates adverse algal overgrowth. This has direct toxic effects and eventually leads to low-oxygen environment or condition. Read on to know more about the nutrient pollution.

A few types of algae species are toxic in nature. If they grow profusely, this results in

a�?harmful algal blooms.a�?

These are more commonly known as

a�?brown tidesa�?


a�?red tides.a�?

The zooplankton consume this toxic algal species. This leads the toxins to pass up in the food chain, this adversely affects edibles such as clams. Eventually, reaches the seabirds and marine mammals. Finally, it reaches the humans which can cause illness and even death sometimes.

Monitoring Algal Bloom

The developed countries now monitor such toxic algal blooms. They close down fisheries if necessary. Hence, a reduction in the incidence of human related diseases is seen. But on the other hand, there is a economic cost for fishers and other related businesses. Also, it does not help in solving the problem for marine life which is present in this algal bloom.

The blooms of seaweed and non-toxic algae, due to nutrient pollution may also cause several problems like minimizing the water clarity. This creates a difficulty for marine organisms to locate food. Also, reduction in the water clarity blocks sunlight which is required by sea grasses for growth.

Nutrient pollution can initiate sudden outbreaks of fish illnesses. For example, in 1991, a

Pifesteria outbreak

in North Carolina’s Neuse River resulted in death of around 1 million menhaden fish. Pifesteria is a type of marine pathogen that survives in nutrient-polluted water.

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