Phosphorus in aquatic ecosystems

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Green algal and cyanobacterial bloom in the Irishtown Road Reservoir, NB. (A. Baillargeon)

Severe algal blooms in Lake Winnipeg, Lake Simcoe and blooms of cyanobacteria in eastern Canadian lakes have been occurring in recent years, as well as re-emerging problems in Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, and in other Canadian water bodies.

Not since the 1970’s, when Great Lakes algal blooms prompted legislation limiting phosphate levels in laundry detergents and sewage effluents, has public concern for nutrient loadings to aquatic environments been so high.

Scientists have been tracking and researching nutrients in freshwaters across Canada since the 1960’s. The following web pages provide highlights of a national level assessment of nutrients in Canadian watersheds based on data from Environment Canada water quality monitoring stations operated in conjunction with federal, provincial and territorial partners.


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