Last year, the Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone was only the size of Delaware, making it one of the tiniest on record; however, this year it’s expected to grow to the size of New Jersey – recorded history’s largest.
Last year, the Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone was only the size of Delaware, making it one of the tiniest on record. This year, however, it’s expected to grow to the size of New Jersey – recorded history’s largest.
For those unfamiliar with what a dead zone is and, thus, what all of this means, here’s the nutshell version.
A dead zone is an area of water with little or no oxygen, which makes it useless when it comes to supporting life that depends on it. Anything that needs oxygen dies or flees, which is bad news for nature in general, but devastating to the already beleaguered Gulf fishing industry.
Sometimes they occur naturally, but this time the aquatic wasteland is mostly manmade.
The excess nutrients found in fertilizers get washed into rivers via pipes and natural runoff and often end up flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, home to the 2nd largest dead zone in the world.
This year’s ample rain has yielded a better supply of crops, but at the same time, a bigger void in aquatic life.