agricultural runoff

Nancy Rabalais / Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium

Every summer, a dead zone forms in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s an area with so little oxygen that marine life can’t survive, caused mostly by agricultural fertilizers that wash down the Mississippi River.

 

According to a new study from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON), it’s much smaller this year. But, that might not necessarily be a sign of progress.

Ryan Utz / Chatham University

A new study shows waterways across the country are getting saltier — including the Mississippi River. That has implications for the ecosystem and for drinking water.

 

The salt comes from two main places. Road salt — which is used to help melt ice and snow on roadways — and also agricultural fertilizers. Fertilizers often have potassium in them, which is a salt.

Travis Lux / WWNO

Every summer, a "dead zone" forms in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s an area where the oxygen is so low that aquatic mammals can't survive. This year the dead zone was the biggest on record.

 

Tulane University has awarded $1 million to a company to help shrink it.