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The Dead Zone: Nutrients in the Gulf of Mexico

At last week's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), scientists explored solutions to the "dead zone," an area of approximately 7,000 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico. Each summer, this area becomes oxygen-depleted ("hypoxic"), when excessive nutrients (especially nitrogen) flow down the Mississippi River into the Gulf. Most of the nitrogen is washed into the Mississippi River from Midwestern farms using Nitrogen-rich fertilizers. Excess nitrogen triggers microscopic plants to bloom explosively, robbing the water of oxygen when they die and decay. According to USGS scientists, the Gulf of Mexico's dead zone does not even contain enough oxygen "to support most marine life for part of the year." This poses a threat, not only to the Gulf's commercial fisheries, but to all other marine life in the region, as well. The eleven resources listed provide background information and insights on this complex environmental issue.
Alternate Title
In the News: The Dead Zone: Nutrients in the Gulf of Mexico
Archived Scout Publication URL
Date Issued
Date of Scout Publication
February 3rd, 1999
Date Of Record Creation
April 7th, 2003 at 1:21pm
Date Of Record Release
April 7th, 2003 at 1:21pm
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