Sources of Pollution: Agricultural Runoff


Agricultural Runoff occurs when water moves off of land that is used commercially for raising plants and animals for food.

What does Agricultural Development look like in the Satellite Image of the Barataria Terrebonne Watersheds?

What does Agricultural Development look like in the Aerial Photographs of each smaller watershed where it is present within the Barataria and Terrebonne Watersheds?


How does this land use cause NPS?

Pollution from agriculture in the Barataria & Terrebonne watersheds comes from pastureland grazing of cattle and sugarcane runoff. Cattle leave manure on the land. Sugarcane farmers apply fertilizers and pesticides to their fields. When it rains, the water carries some of the fecal matter, nutrients and pesticides into bayous, lakes and bays.

  • · Manure is composed of organic matter and nutrients. Any time organic matter and nutrients enter water they can cause algae blooms and lower dissolved oxygen.
  • · When land is converted to agriculture, the trees and plants are scraped off. Without trees and plants to hold it in place, loose soil can erode into bayous, lakes and bays when it rains.
  • · Disease-Causing Organisms can come from manure. When it rains, water carries manure and these organisms off of the land and into nearby waterbodies.


What can you do to prevent this pollution?

  • Best Management Practices for Agricultural Runoff
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