Golf Courses & Fertilizer Effects

Eutrophication: the process by which a body of water becomes enriched in dissolved nutrients (such as phosphates) that stimulate the growth of aquatic plant life usually resulting in the depletion of dissolved oxygen

– Merriam Webster

When fertilizers get washed into lakes or rivers, it can lead to eutrophication. In these photos, we see that eutrophication has led to a suspected algal bloom on the Nine Mile River (adjacent to Links at Brunello Golf Course in Timberlea).

After the plants have consumed so much oxygen, the lack of oxygen in the water kills off all oxygen-dependent life.

Thank you to Hugh Chisholm for sharing these photos with us.

Why are people concerned about pesticides from golf courses? Aren’t pesticides banned here?

This is an excellent question. Nova Scotia’s “Non-essential Pesticides Control Act” was passed on May 11, 2010. However, golf courses are exempt from the pesticide ban. The distinction lies in what is considered an “essential pesticide.” The bill states:

This Act does not apply to a person who uses, sells or supplies a pesticide for

(a) forestry activities;
(b) agricultural activities or
(c) a golf course.

– Non-essential Pesticides Control Act
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