Scientists say the size of this year’s dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is bigger than average. It’s grown to more than 65-hundred square miles in size. The GLRC’s Mark Brush explains:
Scientists say the size of this year’s dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is bigger than
average. It’s grown to more than 6,500 square miles in size. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Mark Brush explains:
Each spring, scientists measure the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution coming
down the Mississippi river. The excess nutrients mostly come from farm fields and
sewage treatment plants in the Mississippi river basin. The nutrients cause algae blooms
in the Gulf of Mexico which eventually rob the water of its oxygen.
Dave Whittall is with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He says
the dead zone has a big impact on the region’s ecology and economy:
“That whole area where we don’t have oxygen, nothing can live there, so this is an area
the size of the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island put together where you have no
aquatic life essentially.”
Government officials are working toward a goal of cutting the size of the dead zone by
half in the next nine years. And they’re looking to farmers and cities to help them with
For the GLRC, I’m Mark Brush.