The loading of phosphorus from our lands to our water resources is commonly the single largest cause of eutrophication, where excess algal growth degrades water quality. Wetlands can play a critical role in reducing phosphorus loading to lakes and streams by trapping runoff water and sediment. The Sunrise watershed currently contains many wetlands and with the potential to create or restore many more, a process commonly called wetland mitigation. To estimate the role of wetlands in reducing nonpoint sources of phosphorus, a computerized watershed model was constructed for the Sunrise River watershed by using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). The model results discussed here focus on two outcomes of interest: the Sunrise River's phosphorus loading to the St. Croix River and phosphorus loading to the lakes in the Lakes Improvement District (LID).
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Minnesota Water Research Digital Library