Noxious algae is choking the very watershed that’s drawing people to develop property there.
Experts are working to pinpoint exactly what’s driving recent blooms, but chronic algae…has been largely attributed to nutrient pollution from the area’s ballooning development. Nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous occur naturally, but humans contribute even more from our septic tanks and other wastewater treatment systems, fertilizers, and clearing land for development. Pollution from America’s most prosperous is sullying a pristine watershed, with help from climate change-driven increases in air and water temperatures and reduced snowpack and river water levels.
“We shouldn’t be piecemeal approaching what’s happening in the greater community…we need to take a holistic approach and the best thing to do right now is to hit pause. We need to hit pause on everything to let the science catch up and direct how we can grow without growth becoming a zero-sum game where the river is the loser.”