What You Can Do to Reduce Your Part of the Gulf Dead Zone: LWV Upper Mississippi River Task Force Update
The Dead Zone is the area expanding from the discharges of the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico where water oxygen levels are absent or so low that fish and aquatic life must leave the area or die. The area is larger than the state of New Jersey. Much of the Dead Zone is the result of nutrient pollution caused by high levels of common fertilizers like nitrogen and phosphorus.
An excellent series of articles researching this issue is listed at the recent LWV UMR blog https://www.lwvumrr.org/blog/frustrations-lack-of-progress-environmental-groups-are-maddened-but-epa-is-pleased
More information about the LWV Upper Mississippi River Task Force is at https://www.lwvumrr.org/ and a full listing of their blog posts is at https://www.lwvumrr.org/blog
Lack of progress in reducing the size of the Dead Zone is noted. Goals set in 2008 have not been reached and the Dead Zone continues to increase in size.
Voluntary compliance for nutrient pollution reaching the Gulf is contrasted to the mandates set by the U.S. EPA for clean-up of nutrient pollution in Chesapeake Bay, which did make significant reductions of the problem in the targeted time-frame.
You can reduce your part of the Dead Zone by buying locally grown organic produce, meat and eggs from small farms and by buying phosphate free dish detergents and soaps and purchasing only phosphorous free yard products. Find out what your lawn service uses and insist on phosphorous free lawn care.
The Peoria LWV is a member of the LWV UMR. Peoria Board members Elaine Hopkins and Joyce Blumenshine attended their pre-conference session held last summer in Chicago at the National LWV Convention. Additional background on nutrient pollution and tips for what you can do are at https://www.sierraclub.org/illinois/our-work/water/nutrients
LWVGP is a member of the UMR ILO
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