Take a look at Lake Madison and Lake Herman, where algae of various colors are painting the shoreline rocks and sandy beaches. At 1 o’clock yesterday, a very sunny Sunday afternoon, there were no swimmers at the beaches at Lake Herman State Park.
We can’t blame them. Algae is not only unsightly, it can be a health hazard in certain forms, to both humans and animals.
…One of the best remedies are buffer strips, which are grasses or other vegetation planted along lakes, rivers and streams. The purpose is to filter nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment from adjacent land before it gets into waterways. Our neighbors to the east in Minnesota have been more aggressive about reducing nitrogen and phosphorus from getting into their lakes, by requiring buffer strips next to creeks and streams to control runoff. South Dakota has a voluntary program to plant buffer strips, with the state providing a 40 percent tax break for farmers. But the program attracted only 27 farmers who placed 292 acres in 12 counties in the first year.
We don’t expect any progress in the battle against excessive algae until someone in a leadership position—state, county or another local entity—decides to make it a priority and get others to join in [link added; Jon Hunter, “Face It: We Aren’t Winning Against Algae,” Madison Daily Leader, 2020.07.13].
What’s that, Jon? Freedom™ and Personal Responsibility® don’t mitigate threats to public health as effectively as aggressive state government action? Someone, quick, call the Governor!