Dustbowl to Dead Zone?

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is developing guidelines to reduce fertilizer runoff into the Mississippi River watershed. Why? It promotes algae growth and creates low-oxygen “dead zones” that can’t support marine life. A dead zone off the mouth of the Mississippi in the Gulf of Mexico is the size of Connecticut. Upstream states want to shrink it by limiting runoff. 

Less than a century ago Dorothea Lange documented migrant workers escaping another man-made ecological disaster, the Dust Bowl. How are today’s Gulf State residents affected by the dead zone? 


—Alex Bortolot, Content Strategist, September 26


Image: LUMCON (Rabalais) 

Source: Matt Sepic and Elizabeth Dunbar, “Mississippi River’s 1926 dead zone holds lessons for Gulf of Mexico today,” Minnesota Public Radio, 9/25/2013