Blue-green algal toxins threaten eider ducks

28 October 2011

Eider duck (Source: Wikipedia)

Monitoring in Sweden has shown a 100-fold reduction in eider seaduck nesting during the past 30 years.  One of the reasons for this has been attributed to cyanobacterial toxins.

A report released this week by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency finds numerous pollution problems throughout the Sauk River watershed. The report includes detailed monitoring data for a portion of the watershed’s 374 lakes and 79 streams. In general, the lake water quality in the watershed is modest to poor, the report states.  Of the watershed’s assessed lakes, 13 fully support aquatic recreation and 31 don’t, while nine don’t support aquatic consumption. A condition known as eutrophication caused by too many nutrients is a common concern across the watershed’s lakes, the report states.

Commercial South African law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr advises any party appointing an environmental assessment practitioner (EAP) to ensure that the practitioner is registered with the newly established Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa.  This follows the recent conviction of an EAP for submitting incorrect or misleading information as part of an environmental- impact assessment (EIA) conducted in terms of the National Environmental Management Act, No 107 of 1998.

Here’s a quiz question for Droplets readers:

Lakes sometimes have an overgrowth of phytoplankton, making the water murky and unhealthy for aquatic life. Which condition leads to this overgrowth?

A) Eutrophication

B) Acidification

C) Oligotrophic

D) Invasive species

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