Gulf Dead Zone Highlights Need to Confront Fertilizer Pollution in America’s Rivers, Waterways

“We cannot simply accept the existence of a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico…”

NEW ORLEANS — This year’s Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” — an area of low oxygen triggered by excess nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin — is approximately 6,952 square miles, according to NOAA.

“We cannot simply accept the existence of a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico where little marine life can survive. We know which projects, practices, and policies would reduce nutrient pollution, but not enough has been done to implement these commonsense measures in communities and on farms. Unfortunately, this administration has proposed to reduce conservation funding and weaken the Clean Water Act, which will only make the problem worse,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We need a national commitment to managing stormwater and reducing fertilizer run-off in the Mississippi River basin, which would mitigate flood risks, save farmers money, make our streams and rivers cleaner for people and wildlife, and lead to a healthier, more resilient Gulf of Mexico.”

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