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Nutrient load summaries for major lakes and estuaries of the Eastern United States, 2002

January 31, 2014

Nutrient enrichment of lakes and estuaries across the Nation is widespread. Nutrient enrichment can stimulate excessive plant and algal growth and cause a number of undesirable effects that impair aquatic life and recreational activities and can also result in economic effects. Understanding the amount of nutrients entering lakes and estuaries, the physical characteristics affecting the nutrient processing within these receiving waterbodies, and the natural and manmade sources of nutrients is fundamental to the development of effective nutrient reduction strategies. To improve this understanding, sources and stream transport of nutrients to 255 major lakes and 64 estuaries in the Eastern United States were estimated using Spatially Referenced Regression on Watershed attributes (SPARROW) nutrient models.

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