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Breaking Down the Nitrogen Myths

nitrogen eggs

Digester eggs at the recently upgraded Newtown Creek wastewater treatment facility (one of the largest which discharges into LIS) help break down sewage sludge to remove nitrogen. (photo credit


In this installment of “Ask Dr. K” Jason Krumholz decides to tackle a few of the common myths he hears about nitrogen pollution.

Dr. K: In this installment of the “Ask Dr. K” Blog, I’m going to do something a little differently. Usually I respond to a direct question that I’ve been asked by a student, resident, or stakeholder in Long Island Sound (LIS), but today I want to try to tackle a few common myths about nitrogen that I hear a lot. Thanks to Alison at Boston University for emailing me with some questions that prompted me to write this entry.

Here at the Long Island Sound Study, we’ve been heavily invested over the last year or so in revising our Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan or CCMP.. This document helps us set goals for what we hope Long Island Sound will look like in 20 years, and determine the steps necessary to meet those goals. Nitrogen is a big part of that. So it’s important that we understand what we’re dealing with here.

The phrase “think globally, act locally” has been around for decades, but it is as true now as ever before. So I’m particularly proud that the inspiration for this post comes from a student in Massachusetts, who’s doing a great job of acting on that motto. Thanks again Alison.


Jason Krumholz, aka Dr., K, is the NOAA liaison to EPA’s Long Island Sound Office. Dr. Krumholz received his doctorate in oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.


Have a Sound Health question?


Send an e-mail to Jason Krumholz.. Dr. Krumholz  is a marine scientist working as the NOAA liaison to the EPA Long Island Sound Office. View more of Dr. K’s questions and answers on the Ask Dr. K blog.


Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA or NOAA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA or NOAA do not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.


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