United States Environmental Protection Agency text and logo

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 fromsewage treatment plants, septic systems, fertilizers used in farming and on lawns, and polluted air from power plants and cars.

Read more about too many nutrients.

Return to Previous Page

3rd-drgf Other Challenges List too many nutrientspathogenstoxic chemicalshabitat lossinvasive specieschanges in water flowBack to what challenges do our estuaries face?nutrients