Based on the priorities written in the Decisions Memo, this Action Memo will provide specific policies to implement to reduce the effects of eutrophication.
For anyone to care about eutrophication, they need to know what it is. There are several ways to teach the public about the environmental effects of their behavior. Initially, it’s best to start in schools. Teaching youth about the environment helps to “develop a sense of responsibility for the environment” (Selman & Greenhalgh, 2018). This will help acceptance of these issues for future generations. Public Awareness campaigns are the next step in raising awareness. “Emphasizing the importance of water quality” to the public, showing the effects their actions may be causing, and the ways they can improve will help the public accept the next steps in solving eutrophication (Selman & Greenhalgh, 2018). Providing public access to environmental information about nutrient levels in water and in runoff from local areas gives the public the opportunity to see the problem for themselves. Finally, targeted outreach and education is beneficial to the farming and agriculture industry to see specifically what could be improving. This can be “used an easy-to-follow format that allows for easy application of these practices at the farm level” (Selman & Greenhalgh, 2018).
Implement Research and Monitoring Programs
Understanding what eutrophication is and solving the problem goes beyond just educating the public. Implementing programs to research and monitor eutrophication processes across America is key. Monitoring water quality, assessing bodies of water, watershed modeling, evaluation and management frameworks, and nutrient reduction research and development are all things to research and monitor in this step (Selman & Greenhalgh, 2018).
Implement and Enforce Regulations
After proper research and monitoring is done, the next step is implementing and enforcing regulations. Environmental quality standards, product / manufacturing standards, process / design standards, and technology standards are all examples of regulations that could be put in place (Selman & Greenhalgh, 2018). Environmental quality rates could include reducing manure or fertilizer application rates or amounts. Product or manufacturing standards could include “legislation to ban or reduce phosphates in dish and laundry detergents” (Selman & Greenhalgh, 2018). Another product standard could include limiting nutrient levels in store-bought fertilizers. Process and Design standards would include designs to limit nutrient loss through runoff. Finally, technology standards would include managing nitrogen removal from overfilled watersheds.
Placing Incentives and Ecotax
Finally, once we’ve identified key areas that are affected by eutrophication, we can place incentives for people to comply with set regulations, and ecotax to dissuade people from neglecting these regulations. Putting in place a polluter-pays-tax and technological taxes on new developments that negatively impact the environment is a great way to prevent people from disobeying regulations. Alternatively, placing incentives on people who are positively impacting the environment encourages people to follow set regulations.
Selman, M., & Greenhalgh, S. (2018, September 26). Eutrophication: Policies, Action, and Strategies to Address Nutrient Pollution. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.wri.org/publication/eutrophication-policies-action-and-strategies-address-nutrient-pollution