Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico attributed to polluted runoff from farmland fertilizer

A story from MSN was sent to me and caught my attention.  Again, everything is connected… would you ever connect a cow in Missouri to a deoxygenated area unable to sustain life in the Gulf of Mexico?  Well, there is a very direct connection: farms are exempt from many water quality laws, however they are responsible for large pollutant loads to water ways.  Fertilizer and manure have high phosphorus and nitrogen content, which feeds algae to grow and form blooms.  These algae blooms uptake oxygen from water at the same time as blocking sun from reaching plant life below the water surface, preventing photosynthesis.  The combination of these occurrences can result in a “dead zone” where life cannot exist.  The Gulf of Mexico has the second largest recorded dead zone in the world at 5,000 sq miles, which is about the size of the state of Connecticut.  The high phosphorus and nitrogen loading is attributed to the Mississippi River and the farmlands along it. 

'Dead zone' in the Gulf of Mexico is the size of Connecticut: Graphic explains how dead zones occur.


See the story here:


2 thoughts on “Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico attributed to polluted runoff from farmland fertilizer”

  1. This is a good theory about what’s happening with the gulf. Combined with the toxic dispersants used after the BP oil spill, these chemicals have turned the gulf into a lifeless wasteland. Very sad.

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