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Farm Runoff in Mississippi River Floodwater Fuels Dead Zone in Gulf | The Rdown News Blog | PBS NewsHour | PBS

Published on: 05/18/2011

A dead zone — already the size of the state of New Jersey — is growing in the Gulf of Mexico, fueled by nutrient runoff from the swollen Mississippi River.

This year, with floodwaters from the Birds Point levee breach and the Morganza and Bonnet Carret spillways spreading over farmland and other residential areas, the river is collecting tremendous amounts of fertilizer and pesticides. This is contributing to what scientists say may become the largest dead zone ever, and posing a serious threat to already taxed marine life.

 

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