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Eutrophication: Policies, Action, and Strategies to Address Nutrient Pollution

This policy note provides an overview of the range of actions, policies, and institutions around the globe that address nutrient pollution and eutrophication.

Key Findings

Executive Summary

Nutrient overenrichment of freshwater and coastal ecosystems—or eutrophication—is a rapidly growing environmental crisis. Worldwide, the number of coastal areas impacted by eutrophication stands at over 500. In coastal areas, occurrences of dead zones, which are caused by eutrophic conditions, have increased from 10 documented cases in 1960 to 405 documented cases in 2008. In addition, many of the world’s freshwater lakes, streams, and reservoirs suffer from eutrophication; in the United States, eutrophication is considered the primary cause of freshwater impairment.

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