‘Dead Zone’ In The News

The largest-ever ‘dead zone” in the Gulf Of Mexico might develop this summer, scientists announced this week.

A dead zone, in case you don’t know, occurs in the bottom waters of oceans and large lakes where’s there not enough oxygen to sustain life. Typically, a dead zone is caused when nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous run off land and stimulate heavy growth of algae on surface water.

Experts say heavy spring rains in the U.S. Midwest flushed a lot nutrients into the Mississippi River, which of course drains into the Gulf of Mexico. The experts say that’s set the stage for a dead zone the size of New Jersey to develop in the Gulf.

I once interviewed an advocate of sustainable farming; he talked at length about dead zones. I don’t recall the topic ever coming up in any conversation I’ve ever had with a conventional farmer.

Are you bothered by what’s happening in the Gulf? If so, drop me a line and explain why. If you’re not bothered, or if you think the issue is overblown, drop me a line and tell me why.

1 Response

  1. Karry Kyllo

    I’m very bothered by the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico as well as a similar problem that has been occuring in Lake Winnipeg for the past several years. I understand the viewpoint of many in agriculture that believe maximum profits are what it’s all about, but when is enough enough? Other businesses have their effluents regulated by the EPA, why not agriculture? I think that the whole thing is a shame and completely uncalled for. Lobbying congressmen works doesn’t it? Isn’t our environment more important than dollars and cents and time this all stops?

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