Kristy Meyer, August 18, 2017
Little debate exists about the sources of phosphorus pollution feeding toxic algal growths in Lake Erie. Scientists point to the large amounts coming from agricultural production in the western Lake Erie watershed that flow out of the Maumee River and into the lake.
Stating this scientific fact shouldn’t be viewed as finger pointing. The majority of farmers implement at least one, if not more, conservation practices to reduce their contribution to runoff pollution. No farmer wants or intends to pollute our rivers, streams and lakes. That is why many voluntarily adhere to nutrient management strategies, such as the 4Rs.
However, in order to achieve the 40% reduction in phosphorus pollution that scientists say is necessary to fix Lake Erie’s toxic algae problem, voluntary steps aren’t enough. That is why the OEC promotes common sensesafeguards against agricultural pollution that would require more farms, especially industrial operations, to do more.
Through voluntary, market-based, and regulatory solutions, we are confident Ohio can start doing right by Lake Erie communities and that our Great Lake can recover. As we continue to push for stronger requirements against runoff pollution, the OEC also works with and appreciates the many farmers who are voluntarily doing their share to address these issues.
The video below features the good folks from Buckeye Soil Solutions showing their custom cover crop applicator and discussing the importance of soil health. Joining them is farm owner Ron Wyss who explains the one practice that every farmer can do to reduce phosphorus pollution risks.
If you support these farmers and want to see others have to carry their fair share of the problem, sign our petition! Ohio lawmakers need to know where you stand in the fight to save Lake Erie from the toxic algae menace!