Louisiana may soon take a huge step backwards in the effort to protect our coast and clean up the Dead Zone. The Dead Zone, which was the size of Connecticut last year, is an area that forms in the Gulf every summer where oxygen levels get so low that sea life must swim away or suffocate, and it is a proven hazard to our coastal waters. Despite this threat, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) wants to remove the Dead Zone from its “impaired waters” list, a list of waters that need to be cleaned up. Don't let them do it – tell LDEQ to not turn a blind eye to the Dead Zone!
Ever since the EPA told Louisiana to put the Dead Zone on their "impaired waters" list in 2008, the LDEQ has been trying to remove it. Let’s tell LDEQ that their refusal to address the Dead Zone is hurting our coast and communities.
Despite decades of research from distinguished groups and organizations that clearly shows the Dead Zone’s negative impact on state waters, LDEQ claims that there is insufficient data to classify coastal waters impacted by the Dead Zone as impaired. The first step in recovery is admitting that you have a problem. Louisiana needs to get over its denial so that our coast can recover!
Please take a moment to send LDEQ a message: The Dead Zone is harming our coast. Put it back on the list of waters that the state must clean up!
Matt Rota is GRN's Senior Policy Director