Scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found an area of 5,052 square miles of “low oxygen water” or hypoxia in their annual survey.
The Gulf of Mexico dead zone is caused by nutrients that wash into the Gulf’s waters, which in turn boost the growht of algae blooms that suck up the oxygen.
These nutrients come from “human activities, such as agriculture and wastewater” according to NOAA and the U.S. Geological Survey. The nutrients end up in the Mississippi River which deposits them into the Gulf.
Scientists first discovered a dead zone in these waters in 1972. The patch varies in size from year to year.
This year’s dead zone was right in line with predictions and is smaller than the five-year average of…
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