MINOT, N.D. (AP) — A group of Minot High School honors biology students have volunteered to help with a water study that stretches from the United States to Canada.
The project by the Lake Winnipeg Foundation is meant to evaluate phosphorus and dissolved oxygen levels in a portion of Souris River drainage that eventually merges with Canadian waters, the Minot Daily News reported.
Biology instructor Joe Super said blue-green algae is “the real killer” and data collected by the students will make a difference.
“For us it is an educational citizen science project that’s going to have international ramifications,” Super said.
Blue-green algae can cause death for animals of all sizes and brings recreational use to a standstill. Phosphorus often triggers unwanted algae blooms.
“Phosphorus causes the blue-green algae to grow. When that algae dies the bacteria eats up all the oxygen in the water, creating dead zones,” said sophomore Rachel Markle.
Another student, Kaitlyn Starkey, said the project provides local benefits.
“I think it’s really important for us to do this because this river is a really important part of our community here,” Starkey said. “To do this we will be able to bring down phosphate rates and also learn how the water quality changes on its route to Canada.”