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Too Many Nutrients

Plants and animals need nutrients, or “food,” such as nitrogen and phosphorus, in order to grow. However, if an estuary has too many nutrients, too much algae will grow, creating algae blooms. These algae blooms block sunlight and can suffocate fish and plant life by using up valuable oxygen from the water. Nutrients can enter estuaries from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, fertilizers used in farming and on lawns, and polluted air from power plants and cars.

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Other Challenges List

photos of too many nutrients: a farm, a sewage pipe, and an algae bloom

too many nutrients pathogens toxic chemicals habitat loss invasive species changes in water flow Back to what challenges do our estuaries face?