Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Submission + - Man-made 'Dead Zone' in Gulf of Mexico the size of Conneticut (

Taco Cowboy writes: Somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico there is a man-made 'Dead Zone' the size of the State of Conneticut. Inside that 'Dead Zone' the water contain no oxygen, or too little, to support normal marine life, especially the bottom dwelling fish and shrimps

The 'Dead Zone' measures about 5,000 Square Miles (13,000 Square Kilometer) is caused by excess nutrient runoff from farms along the Mississippi River, which empties into the Gulf

The excess nutrients feed algae growth, which consumes oxygen when it works its way to the Gulf bottom

The Gulf dead zone, which fluctuates in size but measured 5,052 square miles this summer, is exceeded only by a similar zone in the Baltic Sea around Finland. The number of dead zones worldwide currently totals more than 550 and has been increasing for decades

The elongated Gulf zone typically hugs the Louisiana coastline from the Mississippi River Delta to the state's border with Texas, and some years extending offshore of Texas and Mississippi. Scientists said a growth in farmed land along the Mississippi River in the 1960s began increasing pollution. In the 1970s, levels of oxygen in parts of the Gulf fell below the needs of bottom-dwelling fish. The zone has been generally growing ever since

The report said federal farm policy impacts the amount of pollution in the river. Corn fields, which lay bare most of the year and leach nutrients, are one of the biggest contributors to the problem

This discussion was created for logged-in users only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Man-made 'Dead Zone' in Gulf of Mexico the size of Conneticut

Comments Filter:

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker