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Friday, October 31, 2014

Strategic CSR - Gulf of Mexico

The article in the url below reports that the dead zone, the area of the Gulf of Mexico that cannot sustain aquatic life, is now the size of Connecticut:
"The Gulf of Mexico's annual spring-summer 'dead zone' is the size of Connecticut -- slightly smaller now than in recent years but nowhere near the trim scientists had sought, researchers said this week."
The dead zone is formed by chemical run-off from agricultural pollutants (fertilizer, etc.) that finds its way into the Mississippi River and flows down into the Gulf of Mexico:
"The zone is formed by nutrients that wash into the Gulf's waters -- largely agriculture fertilizer and wastewater coming down the Mississippi River. These boost algae blooms that suck up the oxygen in deep water, according to NOAA and the U.S. Geological Survey. Marine life struggles to find enough oxygen to survive within the zone."
The map included in the article illustrates how big this problem has become:
What I find ironic is that this dead zone never generates any public interest (let alone outrage). I put this down to the fact that we cannot see the damage being done (together, of course, with the influence of the agricultural industry's lobby in Washington). In contrast, the oil spill caused by the Deepwater Horizon explosion caused great public anger. This was justified, but the dead zone is a bigger problem that, unlike Deepwater Horizon, is not getting any better.
Happy Halloween.
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone' is the size of Connecticut
By Melodi Smith and Jason Hanna
August 7, 2014
CNN Tech