Hello everyone and welcome back. If you remember the last time we were together, we talked about some general baseline issues to set some context. We talked a little bit about land management, soil management, and also water. Today I want to focus some of our time on nutrients. And again, to set some of the context and the base for some of the issues that we'll deal with as we go through the courses. We'll introduce the term eutrophication. For those of you that may not be familiar with this term, it basically refers to increases in nutrients in a water body. And particularly in situations where it increases the growth of plant, plants in that water body. This is usually reflected in sudden or near sudden increases in growth, sudden by, you know, years or decades, in terms that can result in reducing the oxygen level in that water. I'll explain how that happens in a little bit. It may be so severe that it leads to de-. Dead zones or anoxic hypoxic zones in these water bodies. This typically happens or is associated with increases in nutrients from the terrestrial environment that are likely associated with increases in human activities. So, as population increases and the growth of towns and cities increase agriculture. Increases, and in situations where nutrients move from the, the terrestrial environment, such as runoff storm water runoff from urban areas Or runoff from farming activities. These nutrients then lead to an increase in, in growth of plants, particularly, algae in these water bodies. We also want to note that there are many sources for these nutrients and oftentimes, particularly in a large watershed, it's very difficult to, quantify exactly where and how much of these nutrients are attributable to various land uses. So that's one of the things we'll be taking a look at as we go through the course. We also want to know that we're focusing on agriculture and the potential for agriculture to play a role in nutrient inputs into water bodies, but also we want to acknowledge that just the natural environment can also contribute nutrients. So runoff, for example, from natural areas, forested areas following snow melt or following large storms like a tropical storm or a hurricane, can also contribute nutrients to these water bodies. The problem is it manifest in a couple different ways. One is the growth of these, for example an algal bloom takes away from what might be a desired use of that water. For example, no longer being suitable for swimming or for tourists, for tourism. And so that's a negative aspect. And then also the blooms of plant life in these water bodies. When that algal mat or bloom dies and the decomposition of it then takes oxygen out of the water body which is what leads to the formation of the so called dead zones. This graphic shows dead zones around the world. In fact, scientists have said that dead zones are increasing, have increased over the, the last 50 or 60 years both in number and also in size and scope. When you look at this graphic you'll see that the dead zones, particular the larger ones are associated with water bodies that are near heavily populated areas such as the coasteal areas of the United States and in Europe. One of the largest dead zones in the world, in fact, is the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. This particular dead zone is caused by pollutants, nutrients, and sediment that are transported down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. And once in the Gulf of Mexico, support algal blooms. If we're going to look at the, the Mississippi watershed in our, one of our upcoming lectures, if you just can imagine a watershed draining 60% of the United States you can just then imagine that even a small contribution Of nutrients or sediment from many, many places concentrated and collected in the, the Mississippi river and no wonder when all of those nutrients are deposited in the water body, the Gulf of Mexico, that something negative may, may happen. And the Gulf of Mexico dead zone because the nutrients and the pollutants are coming from such a large land mass in this country. We have to acknowledge that all land uses are probably contributing the in their own way nutrient sediment and other pollutants to the Mississippi River. So storm water run off for example possibly run off from agricultural areas. In this course, we're going to be particularly interested in those agriculture areas to determine how and if nutrients might be running off or getting a loss from those activities. Surely many farmers are adopting best management practices, many of which we'll take a look at through, through this course. Some may not be where they want to be or need to be in terms of adopting nutrient management practices that will reduce the potential for, for losses of sediment and nutrients from these from these farms. So in this course we're going to take a look at some of these problems on a bigger scale. And then we're going to focus down on to how nutrients could possibly get lost from agricultural production practices. And what farmers, many of, already are implementing soil management conservation practices and nutrient and irrigation management practices that minimize the chances For nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which are two big nutrients implicated in nutrification. How those farmers may adopt even better or more nutrient management practices to keep those nutrients on the farm. And keep the soil on the farm as well. Maybe you have a water body in your particular area, where you live, that you're part-, you're especially interested in. You will probably have already noticed that in this course we offer the opportunity for everyone to conduct a project, take a look at a current problem, water body or problem situation that you know about and you'd like to learn a little more about, and you're interested in digging in a little bit deeper, particularly on some topics that we'll learn about through the course. So hopefully this course will give you some ideas. And even if you're interested in doing the project, which I hope many of you will, I think you'll learn a lot in terms of improving the sustainability of agricultural production systems. The dead zone and the so called dead zone is depicted here in this, this cartoon starting on the, the left hand side, you'll see that fresh water comes in to the, in this case, the Gulf of Mexico, comes down the Mississippi River. Freshwater is lighter than saltwater so it tends to stay in the upper zone, of the, of the Gulf. And then as these, as this nutrient laden with sediment comes into the Gulf in the Spring particularly, from Spring Melt and run-off. The sun's radiant energy heats that water and the nutrients are present, the warm water is present, and we also have algal life in this water. One ifit even enters into the gulf and so all of those things combine together and we pretty soon have an explosion of algal growth and that's called an algal bloom. Now, all of these you know this life eventually dies, the algal, bloom will die, or at least part of it will die. And in the process of the decomposition of that organic matter then, oxygen is used. In that process. It's an oxidative process. So oxygen is taken out of the water to support the decomposition of that organic matter. When that oxygen leaves the watter of course, then it becomes the dead zone because then aquatic life does not have access to ample oxygen in the water. And some of the animal life the aquatic life can move from that low oxygen or oxygen-depleted area, but some cannot. And so that's so that's why it's called a dead zone, because very little Life is remaining in that zone once it becomes anoxic, without oxygen. We also have some other examples in the state of Florida. If you remember from our last time together, we introduced the term karst topography, and Florida Is noted for it's Karst topography. Particularly in central and, and northern parts of this state. And in this Karst topography you'll remember there are a lot of natural springs, and caverns, and caves that are filled with water. These natural springs are very, very popular For swimming and diving. And in fact, people come from all over the world specifically to this part of the United States to northern Florida, to dive in these in these caves. So tourism is a huge industry in this part of the, The states. Anything that happens negatively to the quality of these waters is going to impact tourism. This is so called Little River Springs in Northern Florida. It's not too far from the campus where I'm coming to you from today. And you'll note that in this part right up here at the head is where the spring comes up out of the ground. And then you see where it gets its name, Little River, because the so called spring run then goes out to the Swanee River. And that's the Swanee River in the background. So this is a, this is an example of a spring, and there's many of these scattered across northern Florida. And many of them have become state parks. This particular one is because it's close enough campus I teach a summer travel course with a colleague of mine and we take the students. These are a bunch of our students inspecting the, the Little River Springs. And we take 'em up there to introduce them to this whole notion of Karst topography and springs. And the importance of managing the land around these springs to reduce or to minimize the chances that nutrients are going to get into these springs. The limiting nutrient in these springs is. Is nitrate. And so, as nitrate, as we'll learn, as nitrate is lost from the terrestrial environment, and ends up in our ground water. And these springs, when they come out of the, the ground. This, this is our ground water, coming out. And becoming surface water now, and ending up in the river. So, when nutrients get into the ground water, they eventually end up in, in this water that, that comes out and so it can be nutrification can, can be a big problem in some of these springs and it's something that we, we try to minimize and, and reduce as much as possible and we'll learn about agriculture and it's, it's role in adopting best management Practices to keep nitrogen from getting in these spring waters. Florida has a lot of springs, and this is just a, a summary of some data showing areas in Florida That have elevated nitrate concentrations. If you look down at the purple color here that's around zero to 0.2 milligrams per liter of nitrate/nirtrogen and then it goes up. In this case, the reds Are approaching 10 milligrams. Background in most of the state is somewhere less than say .2 milligrams per liter. So you can see that in many areas of the state the, the oranges, the yellows, and the reds have elevated Nitrate levels over what you would expect in terms of the background. So then the question becomes, how do these water bodies, how does this ground water become elevated in nitrate nitrogen? And you take, you tend to take a look at how the. The land is managed on the surface, and what possibly could be nutrient inputs into that groundwater. Here's Rainbow Springs. You can see, from this picture you can see the sandy bottom of the run. And this crystal clear water is what divers and tourists, even us in Florida enjoy this water. Rainbow Springs again, is another one where, night, analyses testing of the water has shown since 1960, when we were at the background levels. And then you come up, and you come, basically, to the 1980s. Which is typical of many of our springs. The nitrate levels have increased. Now we talk about nitrate in water, and we might refer back, we'll talk a little bit about met-hemoglobe anemia in humans and the cut off level being ten milligrams per liter of nitrate, nitrogen for that. And we'll talk about blue baby syndrome. We'll learn a little bit more about that. But in this particular case, eutrophication in our estuary systems, in our estuaries and our water bottles can happen, the negative impacts can happen at a much lower A level. So even though we may be meeting the drinking water standard, our estuaries are being negatively impacted by nitrate levels that are considerably lower than ten parts per million. Troy Springs is another spring in Northern Florida, not too far from again from the Gainesville campus, and you can see again But since the '60s here with very, very low concentrations. And then as time goes forward you see a general increase in the concentration of nitrate nitrogen in this spring. I put on here this aspect of numeric nutrient criteria. The state of Florida is just now going through the process to set a, a quantitative number, a numeric. Criteria there that for springs is going to be the target. And so here you can see 0.35 milligrams per liter of nitrate nitrogen. And you can see that in this particular case and some of the other cases I just showed you, we're already way above That criterium. So, work, we got a lot of work to do. For many of our springs in the state. The other aspect to having new, eutrophication happen in our water bodies, this is another one of our springs in extreme northern Florida, and you can see the, the nuisance aquatic, the weedy plant growth in these water bodies and obviously this is a detriment for boating and for, and for swimming. So, the question then has been. What are some of the sources of nitrate in these water bodies? And I've listed some of the more obvious ones. Particularly in northern Florida we have of all these activities happening. We have urban areas. We have cities that have significant, storm water runoff that ends up In these water bodies. In the rural areas with septic tanks, particularly if the septic tanks have not been managed and maintained over the years, they can be faulty. Natural runoff from our wooded areas, particularly after heavy rainstorms, particularly in the summer time. We'll have a lot of organic matter that will move, from those surface into, into our rivers. And in the northern Florida, The land, use is dominated by agriculture. Lots of crops being produced. Particularly irrigated agriculture. And we'll take a look at. Some of the activities in terms of farming and nutrient fates and flows on these farms, and we'll start asking questions about how, how it would be possible avenues for nutrients to leave those farms and end up in the water body and what are some things that farmers are doing and could be doing to mitigate against nutrients getting into the water bodies. I think it's very important that we all acknowledge that we, we all, either directly or indirectly play a role in eutrophication, of water bodies around the world. And I tell my students when we talk about nutrients and eutrophication, that one of the best things that we can do is to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask questions. What might be my role directly or indirectly, in nutrients getting into water bodies. And I'll show you what I mean by indirectly in a second. So, this course is all about sustainable land, management. Agricultural land management. We're going to take a look at agriculture's, sustainability. And how it can, improve the sustainability, over the near term, and into the future. We're going to look at, land management practices that farmers have adopted . Many for, for decades have been in place on, on farms. And what farms are doing to improve the existing best management practices that they've already adopted, and how they look for more, and better ones to implement. And how research and extension and education is playing a role in determining and refining these best management practices. And we're going to be looking at nutrients and water, because you will learn that I consider those two to be inextricably linked, when we talk about eutrophication of water bodies. Water management on our farmers is just as important as nutrient management, because many of our nutrients move with the water. So if we are doing something with water management that's not optimal, then chances are nutrients are also, nutrient management is not going to be optimal as well. So we're going to be looking for some answers for our cultivated planet. You'll learn that agriculture is being asked to increase food production because of the population growth. And so we need to really Dig in and find more and better answers. Our job is, is not done and we need to keep working. And hopefully through this course we'll at least maybe hopefully introduce you to some new ideas, that you might be interested in, in your particular area. I want to talk through the course or refer back through this course to the triple bottom line. This is a, this, this I think is a philosophical approach to thinking about how we implement management decisions on the farm. We need to consider economics. We need to consider society and social relevance to our decision making process. And we also need to consider the environment. And I'll give you a good example, just as a, as a starter. When we asked farmers to adopt a certain best management practice that science has been proven to be protective of the environment. But the farmers say that's just not economically possible for me to adopt that particular process. Then, then we are considering, in my mind, then, the triple bottom line. We need to acknowledge that sometimes the things that we ask farmers to do may not be easily and quickly adoptable. And we'll talk about how society comes in and plays a role in helping that whole situation along. So, if we can get in the habit of thinking about these issues from the big picture, from the triple bottom line, I think it'll be a lot easier to try to understand where everyone is coming from in terms of trying to mitigate these problems. So when we think about sustainability, it's a term that many of us use in our life or have been accustomed to using, say over the nec, over the last decade or two. It's a word we use and we hear being used. But what does it really mean? Have we really sat down and thought about And wrote out our understanding and our definition of what it means to be sustainable. I'm going to give you a few of these and then I'll ask you to maybe kick it around through your discussion group. So sustainability, these are some concepts that I present to my, to my classes. Sustainability is related I'll just read this one to you to the quality of life in a community whether or not the economic, the social, and the environmental systems that make up that community Are providing a healthy, productive and meaningful life for all of the community members, present and future. And I underlined future because that's really, I think, in, in many people's minds, and I'm sure you'll agree, that we all can't be sustainable unless we're thinking about the future. We call this the triple bottom line. The environmental, the social, and the economic aspects to our, to our analysis, to our, our thinking process. You've also probably seen the term people, profit, planet. I prefer the triple bottom line over the people, profit, planet. But, you know sometimes people understand it and grab ahold of it quicker and easier. But to me they're the same thing. So when we look at the triple bottom line and we consider all of the three. Parts to it. We're trying to get to this area in the middle where we've considered each one of these. And neither one of them is so far out of balance in terms of driving The process, and the analysis and the consequence that we will arrive at. Neither one of them is the major, major force. Because we find in the real world that all of these play a role, and. I just gave you the example about the best management practices. If we want farmers, to do all they can do to protect the environment around their farm, then we've got to help them understand and adopt the best management practices. And create a scenario where those, where the adoption has an, an incentive so that they can still be profitable in, on the on the farm. So sustainable development is a pattern of resource, as is another definition, resource use that aims to meet human needs. While preserving the environment so that these needs are met today and into, into the future for future generations for out children, for our children's children and, And so on into the future. Sustainability has been also thought about, on many sort of global scales. Here's the so called Brundtland Commission, which some of you may be familiar with. Commissioned by the United Nations in the early '80s. And they coined what has become the most often quoted definition of sustainable development, and I'll read that to you. Development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs as well. And this one kind of, sort of you know, catches all of the, the, the thoughts or aspects that go through my mind when I think about sustainability. And for us in this course the word development is going to be equivalent to, to agricultural land management. So we're really interested in the sustainability of agricultural production systems and farmers to stay on the land, remain profitable, produce food, and also protect the environment at the same time. And there's not a single farmer that I know. And I know, probably, hundreds of thousands of farmers who will also tell you that they want to practice the triple bottom line, and in many cases, it's just a simple aspect of educating and possibly helping them through, get over the economic Challenge, to adopt, best management practices. And so, that's what this course is going to be about. What are some of those farmers doing, that is really good for protecting the environment? And what are some of the challenges that maybe some other ones, are facing, and what can we do to help get them over the bumps in the road? I want to just diverse, sort of take a little bit of a divergent track here, because I think this is this is an important aspect as well. More food is being produced on this globe than at any other period. But many scientists say that this increased production, and particularly the increase in production that we're supposed to need to meet the increases in global population, may come at, at an, at, at an expense, to the environment. In particular things that lead to eutrophication fertilizer soil losses increased water uses for irrigation all of these inputs into agriculture have increased over the last decades. And they've had to increase to sustain the economic viability of farms and to allow farmers to producing more and more food. And it isn't that this is any new concept. We've known about challenges in, in protecting soil and keeping nutrients out of the water bodies for many, many years. And we've, and farmers and scientists have been working steadily on this problem, so this course will bring you some of that, results of that, research and science. And we'll, we'll see some examples of how it's being adopted in some of our, watersheds. So what roles do we, as individuals, play? It's going to require a, a sustained effort. No pun intended but it's going to require a sustained effort by all of us to get to the point where we need to be. And many ex, experts say that this is definitely possible. Food waste for example, is something that we all can play a role in. This is a pretty sobering thought, that 40% of all of the food that we produce in this world is not used. Many people use the word wasted, but it is not used. It's either destroyed by insects or mold, or it's thrown away. It may decay on the counter in our kitchen or in our refrigerator. But think about it, 40% of what is produced. Just think about all the energy. Nutrients, water, labor, effort that went into producing that food. Then, that is just not, not used. So while this course is not about that aspect it is something that I, that troubles me and I, I keep it in the back of mind as we go forward because if we can get farmers to Become more and more efficient, adopt best management practices, and at the same time we have a whole another group of scientists and experts working on the food waste aspect, then perhaps we won't have to increase food production to the level it's experts predict. This is the indirect impact that all of us can have on this, on the bigger picture. So while we're not talking directly about this particular aspect of the food production and utilization system. It is, I think nonetheless, at least important for us to keep in the, in the back of mind of our minds. So regarding sustainability I'm very interested in your thoughts about this. I put up a discussion question for week one for everyone to share their thoughts on sustainability. What is your definition of sustainability? I've given you the one, that I, I like to think about that helps me, but maybe there some other ones out there, that many of you who have even more experience about. Why do you care about sustainability, what is it that is important to you? Maybe personally. Do you believe the concept of the triple bottom line? Do you believe that those are the main factors that we need to consider when we talk about sustainability? And especially if we're tal-, asking individuals, farmers to adopt certain practices that society may deem better for the environment, and also, can you identify some examples of sustainable production practices, in your area, that farmers are using. It would be good to make a list of those and show them with the class. Also are there some, challenges, some problems that you see, out there. It would be good to, to share those, with the class. Also, what are some of the major detracting factors, for acheiving sustainability? Not enough money the, the economic aspect is, is, is a very important part of the triple bottom line. So all of these things I think would make for a good discussion. And I hope that I hope that everyone will engage in a good healthy discussion about sustainability. We all want nice clear, clean water. This is the Santa Fe River north of the campus here, and you can see it almost looks like a throwback to 100 or 150 years ago, and many, many places on the run of this river are extremely picturesque and, and beautiful. And so we all have These kinds of examples where we live, that we want to make sure that we're doing our level best to protect for the future generations. So the take-homes for today. We have to acknowledge that nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, are coming off of our terrestrial environment. Whether it's human encouraged or. Whether it's human done or it's coming from natural areas, nitrogen and phosphorous are entering water bodies and eutrophication is happening. Eutrophication impairs water bodies for it's intended uses. Algal blooms are not a good site for a water body where people are engaging in lots and lots of water activities, boating, swimming, fishing for example and we've also seen the other part of the, the negative impacts of eutrophication in algal blooms in terms of The dead zones. And we all want to be careful as we go through the course that we're not pointing fingers. All of us I firmly believe play a role in eutro, in the eutrophication issues. There's many, many sources of nutrients in sediment that, and we're not even talking about other kinds of organic chemicals that can get into water bodies. And that's also a problem. So we need to start thinking, starting with ourselves about more practicing more sustainability thinking and analysis. And I maintain that consideration, as we go through the process of the triple bottom line, and having it under undergird or underlie our decision-making process, will help us come to a more thoughtful conclusion about, for example about practices that farmers might adopt. In addition or in place of some of the practices that they're doing now. At least we will have thought through the whole process from all of the different angles and that usually results in a much better product. So I hope you'll agree with me on that and I'll be looking forward to seeing your discussion out there on the internet. So, think about it and let's get going with the discussion and I will see you next time.