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Spring Floods May Increase This Year’s Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone

To develop an earlier prediction of the size of the Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” this summer, NOAA’s National Weather Service and National Ocean Service combined data from the National Hydrologic Assessment U.S. Spring Flood Risk Outlook with knowledge of soil saturation and typical weather patterns throughout the Mississippi watershed this year. Based on estimates of flood risk, snow pack, […]

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Restoring Louisiana Wetlands Requires More Sediment, Say Scientists

Based on a newly conducted study, an independent scientific panel reported today that existing Mississippi River freshwater diversions have not slowed the ongoing loss of Louisiana’s wetlands. Restoration of Louisiana wetlands may only be possible through significant inputs of sediment. In the report, “Mississippi River Freshwater Diversions in Southern Louisiana: Effects on Wetland Vegetation, Soils, […]

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Some call for tougher fertilizer regulations | The Des Moines Register | desmoinesregister.com

There are things Iowa farmers and other landowners can do to reduce the flow of nitrate pollution into the Mississippi River and, eventually, into the Gulf of Mexico. But some possible solutions have been repeatedly side-tracked by cost, political stalemates and uncertainty over what benefits, if any, would result in the Gulf if measures to […]

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Runoff from Iowa farms growing concern in Gulf | The Des Moines Register | desmoinesregister.com

CHAUVIN, La. — Generations of shrimpers, crabbers and oystermen have set out from this bayou village to net their catch. They share an emotional bond with Iowa’s farmers: Both harvest nature’s bounty to earn a livelihood. These fishermen depend on the sea, just as the nation’s top corn growers rely on the rich Midwest soil. […]

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Extreme Weather: A Mixed Bag for Dead Zones | WRI Insights

This post was co-authored with Bob Diaz, a WRI partner and professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. This year’s extreme weather events—a warm winter, even warmer summer, and a drought that covered nearly two-thirds of the continental United States—has certainly caused its fair share of damages. But despite the crop failures, water shortages, […]

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Hypoxia Researcher Receives Prestigious MacArthur Fellow Award

Nancy Rabalais, the Executive Director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium was recently awarded the MacArthur Award, for her dedicated, long-term efforts spanning multiple decades, documenting and mitigating the effects of the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Rabalais’s work has been instrumental in making the connection between nutrient inputs from the Mississippi […]

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Genius Grant Winners Include Ecologist Who Studies Gulf of Mexico’s Dead Zone | WFPL

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced the recipients of their ‘Genius Grants’ yesterday, and one of them is a scientist dedicated to studying the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Nancy Rabalais is a marine ecologist and the executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. A ‘dead zone’ is an […]

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Mercury Levels in the Gulf of Mexico Quantified in NOAA Report

On August 29, researchers at the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) published an analysis of NOAA Mussel Watch Program contaminant monitoring data for mercury and methylmercury levels and distributions around the Gulf of Mexico. Data gathered from oyster and sediment samples from Texas to Florida revealed relatively elevated mercury concentrations (hotspots) in the […]

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