Nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), in appropriate amounts, are essential to healthy aquatic ecosystems. Excessive nutrients, or nutrient pollution, however, can result in excessive growth of aquatic plants, algae, and cyanobacteria that can lead to harmful cyanobacterial blooms, oxygen depletion, high pH, fish kills, and general degradation of aquatic resources. Nutrient pollution can therefore impact the use of surface waters for drinking water, aquatic life, recreation, livestock, and wildlife. Click here to see maps of nutrient conditions in Wyoming's streams and rivers and lakes and reservoirs.
DEQ, with the assistance of the Wyoming Nutrient Work Group, has developed the Wyoming Nutrient Strategy to identify priority items and next steps for addressing nutrient pollution in Wyoming’s surface waters. Priorities include development and implementation of numeric nutrient criteria; proactive nutrient reduction efforts in priority watersheds, and working with the Wyoming Department of Health, the Wyoming Livestock Board, and other stakeholders to evaluate and respond to potential harmful cyanobacterial blooms.