Lake Michigan researcher part of discussion about phosphorus impacts on Wisconsin’s freshwater systems

Harvey Bootsma in lab

Two hundred fifty people will be putting their heads together at a conference in Madison on Feb. 7 to discuss a pressing freshwater challenge: how to reduce runoff, especially from agricultural fields, that carries phosphorus.

While phosphorus is commonly used to fertilize crops, the nutrient continues to run off, especially during storms. That results in the growth of algae—some of it toxic—in lakes and streams, which drives down water quality and threatens aquatic life.

The conference is hosted by the Center for Water Policy at UW-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences. It is convening tribal, state and government representatives, as well as water utilities, farmers and researchers.

Harvey Bootsma of UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences will be among them. WUWM’s Lake Effect featured a story about his research on phosphorus and quagga mussels in the Great Lakes.