Eco Minute July 21, 2014

Jul 22, 2014

Be An Eco Hound
Credit Jem Sullivan

Improving water quality in area bays and bayous is the highest priority of scientists and environmental advocates working to restore our waterways. This is the Ecominute and I’m Christian Wagley.

In order to improve water quality, sources of pollution have to be identified and either eliminated, captured, or treated so that they no longer reach waterways. There are several main types of pollutants in our bays, bayous, and streams.

Sediment is loose soil that washes into waterways, turning waters cloudy and smothering and even killing organisms that cannot move away, such as oysters. Nutrients often come from fertilizers and can fuel the excessive growth of tiny plants. Toxic substances include pesticides, heavy metals, and oil. Pathogens are disease-causing organisms such as bacteria and viruses. 

All of these pollutants can cause serious harm to aquatic life and in some cases human health as well. In the coming days we’ll learn more about water pollution—where it comes from, its impacts, and how to