Amend the Clean Water Act to More Strongly Regulate Excess Nutrient Pollution Runoff from Farmlands
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Algal blooms are the massive blooms and subsequent die offs of blue-green algae. They can occur in fresh or salt water, and can be natural or anthropogenic (caused by humans). There are two general types of algal blooms, harmful algal blooms (HABs), and nuisance algal blooms (NABs). HABs produce a toxin that kills off massive amounts of fish, aquatic organisms, and even terrestrial organisms that eat a contaminated fish or drink contaminated water. NABs are not toxic, but they do create breeding grounds for E. coli that can cause a beach to get closed to the public due to health concerns. This impacts swimming, fishing, boating, and other recreational activities.
An algal blooms' frequency and intensity can be increased by an excess of phosphorus. Phosphorus can largely be added from excess fertilizer runoff from nearby farms, which is NOT regulated under the Clean Water Act.
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