Don’t Feed Waterfowl, Their Poo is Fowl Too!

Friday, December 30, 2016 - 11:10am

Have you made a New Year’s resolutions to eat less and be healthier? Well, let’s help our waterfowl do so too! The Watershed Foundation and ClearChoicesCleanWater.org just launched its newest public action campaign to help prevent bacteria and algae in our waters –Don’t Feed Waterfowl, Their Poo is Fowl Too!

You might not think feeding the ducks or geese and swans is a big deal, but it is! A single Canada Goose eats 3 - 4 pounds of grass and can create as much as 2 – 3 pounds of waste per day! Feeding waterfowl attracts a larger than normal population of waterfowl to an area. By attracting just 5 more geese to an area, 10-15 more pounds of waste per day may be added to that area.

Excess waste adds excess nutrients and bacteria to our lakes and streams. Excess nutrients in the water can lead to summer algal blooms. The poo can also be harmful to humans. Waterfowl waste contains a wide variety of pathogens capable of infecting humans, including several parasites that can cause gastrointestinal problems. Geese and swans can also be aggressive to humans if a nest is nearby.  Excess populations can also be detrimental to native plants and wildlife in and around lakes and streams.

So what can you do? It's simple - just visit indiana.clearchoicescleanwater.org/waterfowl and Take a Pledge to enjoy waterfowl simply by watching and not feeding. Invite your friends, family, and neighbors to take the pledge too! Post your action to your social media accounts. Take a pledge and get on the map!  

While it is cold outside, wild animals are adapted to changing seasons and providing them low nutrition food like bread on irregular schedules does not help them abide by their natural instincts to migrate or find reliable, nutritious food sources.

The Watershed Foundation  is a founding member of ClearChoicesCleanWater.org. The waterfowl campaign was partially funded by an EnviroWatts grant through the Kosciusko County REMC.

The Watershed Foundation (TWF) was founded in 1997 to protect and improve water quality in the Upper Tippecanoe River Watershed; spanning from Crooked Lake in Whitley County to the Warsaw-Winona area. Over the past 20 years, TWF has worked with farmers and lake residents to implement over 200 water quality improvement projects. In the last three years alone, these efforts have prevented over 556 million pounds of weeds and algae from growing in area lakes and streams.