How Can a Website Help Solve Nitrogen Pollution?

The first step towards solving a problem is learning more about it. This project, supported by a Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant, represents three years of collaborative effort. The Nature Conservancy brought scientists and local leaders together in the Saugatuck River area to better understand the sources of nitrogen pollution and the threats they pose to coastal waterways.

Many people are surprised to learn residential septic systems represent the largest source of nitrogen pollution to the Saugatuck River. Although conventional septic systems do a good job treating bacteria in wastewater, they aren’t designed to reduce much nitrogen. When it rains, nitrogen from fossil fuel emissions in the atmosphere and from fertilizers on land runs off into creeks and streams which flow into the river and Long Island Sound. Luckily, scientists and engineers have developed solutions to capture and treat nitrogen before it reaches waterways. Armed with this information and local knowledge, leaders in the Saugatuck River began to identify ways they could address nitrogen pollution and reduce the occurrence of water quality problems in their area.

This website not only describes nitrogen pollution and how it puts communities at risk, but also offers solutions that can help to alleviate the problem. Our solutions page offers information about the technologies and practices that reduce nitrogen, compares their cost and effectiveness, and helps determine whether they’re a good fit for your home or community.

We believe the Long Island Sound Clean Coastal Waters website will be a platform for citizens, community leaders and partners to access updates and information. We’ll highlight stories about nitrogen pollution problems and share examples of progress and success taking place around the Sound.  And sign up for our mailing list to stay informed and receive the latest water quality news and blog updates. Together, we can restore and protect clean coastal waters in Long Island Sound!