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Photo of newspapers with caption "The Latest" Nutrient Newsletter 2024 Q2 [508 KB]​

The Kentucky Division of Water developed a Nutrient Reduction Strategy to outline ongoing and future efforts to reduce the amount nutrients entering Kentucky waters, and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico. Elevated levels of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are associated with eutrophication of lakes and streams, and the formation of harmful algal blooms. 

Over the past 50 years, excess nutrients in the nation’s waters have contributed to hypoxic conditions, or a "dead zone"​ in the Gulf of Mexico. Excessive nitrogen and phosphorous can have negative impacts on human health and aquatic ecosystems, increase drinking water treatment costs, and affect local tourism and fishing. Known sources of excess nutrients are broad, from land-use changes, septic systems, and intensive agriculture, to air emissions and runoff of farm and pet waste across a basin​ which drains nearly 41% of the contiguous United States. 

Kentucky joins 11 other states in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin in consolidating efforts to address nutrient problems in waters. As members of the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force, these states, along with five federal agencies, developed nutrient reduction strategies​ and action plans to improve water quality at home and downstream.

Kentucky’s strategy​ provides an framework to reduce nutrient loading through data-driven priorities. This strategy builds on the success of existing Kentucky programs, and facilitates coordination with other state and federal initiatives.

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet
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Frankfort, KY 40601

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