Wyoming Nutrient Strategy
The Wyoming Nutrient Strategy identifies priority items and next steps to address nutrient pollution in Wyoming’s surface waters from the following four areas:
Education and Outreach
A summary of work from 2020 can be seen in the Addressing Nutrient Pollution in Wyoming Surface Waters: 2020 Year in Review Story Map.
From the broader strategy, DEQ identified a subset of priorities for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. DEQ and the Wyoming Nutrient Work Group will update the strategy and annual priorities as work is completed and adjustments need to be made.
Priority Watershed for Nutrient Strategy Implementation: The Boysen Initiative
Boysen Reservoir was selected as the priority for implementing proactive point and nonpoint source nutrient reductions due to its importance for recreation, use as a public water supply, and the risk posed to these uses by recurring cyanobacterial blooms in the reservoir.
The Boysen Initiative aims to protect public health and improve recreational experiences in Boysen Reservoir by decreasing cyanobacterial blooms through a reduction in nutrient contributions to the reservoir.
- Data: The primary source of data to quantify nutrient contributions into and out of the reservoir are monthly samples collected by USGS on Muddy Creek, Fivemile Creek, the Wind River Above Boysen, and the Wind River Below Boysen. The primary sources of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxin data are those collected by DEQ’s harmful cyanobacterial bloom program and satellite imagery provided from the Cyanobacteria Assessment Network. DEQ plans to collect additional nutrient, cyanobacteria, and cyanotoxin data in Boysen Reservoir in 2020.
- Initiative Goals and Objectives: DEQ has been working to solidify near term goals and objectives for the initiative. As currently drafted, a nonpoint source work group would focus on developing (1) a sampling and analysis plan to inform watershed nutrient reduction efforts and (2) a watershed plan to reduce nutrients from nonpoint sources. A point source group would focus on developing discharger specific plans to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus, and a science group would focus on identifying concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus and corresponding reductions in these nutrients that would prevent harmful densities of cyanobacteria for drinking water and recreational uses of the reservoir.
- Point Sources: DEQ has started to incorporate nutrient monitoring requirements into Wyoming Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WYPDES) permits in the Boysen Reservoir watershed as permits are renewed. This information will be used to help determine contributions of nutrients from point sources and inform nutrient reduction efforts.
To sign up for the Wyoming Nutrient Work Group listserv, please click here.