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Mississippi Flooding Expands Gulf Of Mexico 'Deadzone'

This article is more than 11 years old.

Here & Now Guest:

Don Scavia, professor of natural resources and environment, University of Michigan

The flood waters along the Mississippi River this Spring caused chaos in communities alongside the river. The waters are also compounding an environmental problem in the Gulf of Mexico.  The Mississippi River carries nitrogen and phosphorous from crop fertilizer, which dumps into the Gulf of Mexico and leads to what are called dead zones.

A dead zone is an area where oxygen is so low that fish and other organisms can't survive. They form each year in the Gulf of Mexico, and because of Mississippi River's massive floods this year, scientists expect the dead zone to be the largest ever.

Don Scavia, professor of natural resources and environment at the University of Michigan told Here & Now's Robin Young that "There's so much organic material decomposing that the oxygen concentration gets so low that fish cannot survive."

This segment aired on June 13, 2011.


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