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HeeBGBz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:11 PM
Original message
Report: Dead zone in Gulf grows
Source: Sun-Herald

The "dead zone" in the northern Gulf, at the end of the Mississippi River system, is the second-largest area of oxygen-depleted coastal waters in the world. Low oxygen, or hypoxia, can be caused by pollution from sources including farm fertilizer, soil erosion and discharge from sewage treatment plants, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Excess nutrients can spur growth of algae, and when the algae die, their decaying takes up oxygen faster than its brought down from the surface. As a result, fish, shrimp and crabs can die or otherwise be adversely affected, the consortium Web site says.

***

If the prediction for July stands, it would be the largest dead zone measured since mapping began in 1985, the report says. An assessment is set to be made at summer's end.



Read more: http://www.sunherald.com/news/breaking_news/story/99253...



That's some gloomy news. The article doesn't say whether a hurricane would help or make things worse.
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Barrett808 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. 1st rec
for the health of the oceans
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. pollution from sources including farm fertilizer, soil erosion and discharge from sewage treatment p
This is why we ALL need to:
1) Eat less meat, so there is less factory-farm manure to spill into the Mississippi.
2) Buy organic whenever possible, to minimize topsoil loss and toxic runoff laden with herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizer. Organic growers use cover crops and crop roation to build the soil up rather than erode it by plowing.
3) Stop using those nasty chemicals on lawns. They run off.
4) Use (waste) less water. Too much water going into the sewers overloads the sewage treatment plants so they have to dump untreated or partially treated waste.

I get tired of everyone scratching their heads about these "mysterious" dead zones. WE are causing them - with OUR polluting, wasteful, thoughtless ways.
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HeeBGBz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. As far as I've heard, they still don't want you in the water down here
Not healthy for swimming. But then, it has never been pretty and clean here. You don't get nicer water until you get past the islands or further east.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I use my shower water for watering my plants. It gives nutrients
and kills/deters pests.
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. kick
nt
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candice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
3. Buy organic to protect our waterways...
and keep pesticides out of your and your family's fat tissues.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
7. Law of Unintended Consequences: Ethanol feeds Dead Zone
Washington, D.C. - Shrinking that dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico will be much more costly than first thought.

A group of scientists that looked at the problem during the Clinton administration targeted agricultural runoff in the Midwest as the main source of the problem and called for a 30 percent reduction in the amount of nitrogen flowing into the Gulf.

A new panel of scientists believes it's going to take a far bigger reduction in nitrogen than that, on the order of 45 percent, according to a draft report.

And even that is not going to be enough. The scientists say that a second chemical, phosphorus, which comes from city sewage systems as well as farms, also needs to be reduced. By 40 percent.

Moreover, the report says that biofuels will likely make the problem worse, because of the increase in corn acreage and use of nitrogen fertilizer needed to keep with the demand for ethanol.

Encouraging more production of corn-based ethanol, in fact, "could nullify other efforts" to reduce the dead zone, the scientists say.
http://www.gulfhypoxia.net/news/default.asp?XMLFilename...
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-18-07 07:25 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. MAP- thanks for that information trof
Just another reason that the whole ethanol lie is so remarkable-right in front of people's eyes and NO ONE who says differently can even get near a microphone let alone get on the air.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070717/sc_nm/deadzone_dc_2 ;_ylt=AkXpTwLbij_TrK2zwRrofmSk4LgF


The Gulf of Mexico's 'dead zone', a swath of water with such low levels of oxygen that marine life can be threatened or killed, is shown in this NOAA graphic from 2002. The Gulf of Mexico's 'dead zone' could be the largest in 2007 since measurements began in 1985, scientists said on July 17, 2007. The dead zone, which recurs each year off the Texas and Louisiana coasts, could stretch to more than 8,500 square miles (22,100 sq km) this year -- about the size of New Jersey -- compared with 6,662 square miles (17,250 sq km) in 2006 and nearly double the annual average since 1990 of 4,800 square miles (12,430 sq km). (NOAA/Handout/Reuters)
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lastliberalintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-18-07 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. 2 areas hit by horrible huricanes
That map is very, very interesting, given the hurricanes of the 2005 season. Both the SE Texas and SW Louisiana coasts show the largest areas of dead zones, and each was hit with strong cat 3/4 storms in 2005. I don't know if there is any real cause and effect relationship there, I'm certainly no scientist. And both of those areas are fairly industrial, so the extent of the dead zones could be more strongly related to the petrochemical industry than anything else. But that map just made me wonder if the hurricanes also damage the seas, in addition to the damage caused on land.
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RantinRavin Donating Member (423 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-18-07 07:44 AM
Response to Original message
9. Just think of everything washed out of New Orleans
from the Katrina floodwaters..
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