David Wall, a hydrologist and study coordinator with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, will present the agency's "Nitrogen in Minnesota Surface Waters" study at the Mississippi River Forum Friday, Sept. 20, in St. Cloud and Thursday, Oct. 10, in Minneapolis.
Excess nitrogen in water can harm fish and aquatic life, pollute drinking water wells and – once it leaves Minnesota via the Mississippi River – contribute to the oxygen-depleted "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico.
A number of Minnesota's water bodies have elevated nitrogen, particularly in the southern third of the state.
Earlier this summer, MPCA released a comprehensive study that describes the sources, pathways, trends and potential ways to reduce nitrogen in our waters. The study found that nitrate concentrations in the Mississippi River increased by 87% to 283% (depending on location) between 1976-2010, and that agricultural-related sources contribute more than 70% of the state's waters' nitrogen loads.
The forum will focus on the study's findings, as well as what's next for Minnesota's efforts to address this pollution source.
The Sept. 20 forum will be held from 8-9:30 a.m. at the St. Cloud City Council Chambers, 400-2nd Street South, St. Cloud, 56301, and the Oct. 10 forum, from 4-6 p.m., at the McKnight Foundation, 710-2nd Street South, Suite 400, Minneapolis, 55401.
There is no charge to attend the forum. However, RSVPs are required. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org