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Bloomington and environmental groups encourage wetland creation near Lake Bloomington

Wed, 05 Sep 2012 17:53:41 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

Three groups are banding together to improve the quality of Bloomington drinking water by building wetlands around the reservoirs at Lakes Bloomington and Evergreen. The initiative involves the Environmental Defense Fund, the City, and the Nature Conservancy. Bob Moseley, the conservancy's Illinois Conservation Director, says research around Lake Bloomington on artificial wetlands bolsters the case for more of them at the edges of farm fields.

Moseley says wetlands can capture up to 59% of phosphorus runoff. This will reduce those levels in the lake, cause fewer algae blooms, and improve the taste and safety of the water. Moseley says wetlands cost about a third of the price of new filtration systems for the city. Farm bill and private foundation money will let farmers put in wetlands at no cost to themselves. Moseley says they also want to help farmers improve agricultural practices so they can use less nitrogen and target it more precisely on fields.

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