Agricultural Pollution

Preventing Polluted Runoff That Causes Toxic Algae Outbreaks

Toxic algae outbreaks are dangerous are more than just smelly and unsightly. They can harm people, wildlife, livestock and pets. Some outbreaks are a big threat to public health and drinking water supplies. A huge toxic algae outbreak in Lake Erie in 2014 left the entire city of Toledo, 500 thousand people, without safe drinking water. Algae outbreaks are caused by many factors – but one of the biggest is runoff contaminated with fertilizer and manure from agricultural operations and farms.

The Federal Farm Bill is essential to helping reduce polluted agricultural runoff. It is imperative that funding for Farm Bill conservation programs is increased to ensure that these programs con continue to help reduce the agricultural pollution that contribute to these toxic algae outbreaks.

Farm Bill Conservation Programs

Farm Bill conservation programs work! They are effective at reducing nutrient pollution and cleaning our waterways. But, the problems we face are huge. We need more funding for Farm Bill conservation programs. In addition a voluntary approach, encouraging farmers to take steps to reduce runoff, should go hand in hand with the regulatory approach. In order to reach our clean water goals, we need both.