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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Despairing Resident Turns Big Stone Lake Pollution into Art

Some lemons just don't make lemonade... but I can appreciate the effort "mbt" from Ortonville is making to publicize the algae pollution on Big Stone Lake. "mbt" has two photoblogs: Lottapolluta and PollutionSolutionAnybody.

LottaPolluta is the more artistic protest against the gruesome green, with some color effects applied to the photos.

mbt, Where Have All the Snails Gone? LottaPolluta, 2009.08.11

PSA is the raw footage, straight photos of the scummy, smelly algae that has prevented mbt's family from using the lake in front of their house for three straight summers.
mbt, Crayfish Crawling, PollutionSolutionAnybody, 2009.08.11

Yes, that green is so thick you can walk on it... well, if you're a crawdad.

mbt's profile offers this raison d'ĂȘtre:

This blog is the result of smelling stench 24/7 for 4 weeks now due to the prevailing winds. I've made many calls, emails, and yes, this is a shallow lake, but to suggest any of this is natural is like saying cigarettes don't cause cancer. Maybe these photos can be my voice. If we admit there's a problem, then we can fix it.

Algae is a natural organism in prairie lakes, but we can fix it. Remember, it grows faster when run-off carries the nutrients algae thrive on—especially nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizer—into the lake. We can control those nutrients through regulations on fertilizer use and a number of other practical actions:

Algae blooms and their associated problems are usually the result of excess nutrients in the water. Therefore, the primary strategy for preventing algae problems is to control the sources of nutrients washing into the lake. Using no-phosphorus fertilizers, maintaining septic systems regularly, diverting roof and driveway runoff into grassy areas rather than directly to the lake, disposing of pet wastes in the garbage, and planting a buffer of native plants next to the lake shore are the best actions to help prevent nutrients from reaching the water [Snohomish County Public Works: Surface Water Management Division].

Of course, lake residents can't solve the problem themselves; they need the help of folks all along the watershed upstream.

And I wonder: even if we could filter all the fertilizer out of Big Stone Lake, how much pollutant might still be rolling east from Rick Millner's giant foreign-funded cow poop lagoons up by Veblen? Let's hope Millner hasn't been so absorbed in resisting the legal orders of the state of Minnesota that he's forgotten to maintain proper environmental practices back here in South Dakota.

1 comment:

  1. Growing up near Big Stone Lake we had a joke - that if you wanted to play God all you had to do was go to Big Stone Lake - because you could walk across the water...


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