Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone

February 23, 2010 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Frank Arundel for this article.

As the population of the world grows, so does our demand for food. The necessity for large scale agriculture demands massive amounts of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides for crops and large confined animal facilities to raise livestock. Dangerous byproducts from these practices include chemicals and wastes that not only cause health impacts on humans and animals through water and food contamination, but also degrade the quality of our waters. One of the largest concerns is the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Waste water and fertilizer runoff from farms and towns hundreds of miles up the Mississippi pour billions of pounds of excess nutrients into the Gulf, creating a dead zone. A dead zone is a hypoxic or low-oxygen region. These zones are caused by an increase in chemical nutrients, usually nitrogen or phosphorus from fertilizer, that cause eutrophication.

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