Big Dead Zone, Little EPA Action

On scientists released their annual measurement of the Gulf Dead Zone, which measured 5,800 square miles – an area larger than the state of Connecticut. Despite voluntary measures promoted by EPA and the states to curb Dead Zone-causing pollution, this area where oxygen levels get so low that sea life must swim away or suffocate has only grown bigger! Tell the EPA to take real action to tackle this important issue: Dead Zone doesn’t just threaten the fish and fisherfolk in its immediate footprint. A ripple effect is felt throughout the Gulf’s $2.8 billion dollar fishing industry, with competition and crowding increasing as fishing fleets focus their efforts on unaffected areas. Dead Zone-causing nitrogen and phosphorus pollution also creates environmental problems like toxic algae blooms throughout the entire Mississippi River Basin.It’s a big problem, but EPA hasn’t shown much interest in taking big action to deal with it. Although they recently forced Louisiana to admit that the Dead Zone impacts state waters, this declaration needs to be translated into real action to reduce it. Over a decade ago, EPA called on states to curb Dead Zone-causing pollution, but since then they’ve backed off deadline after deadline to actually do so. Click here to tell the EPA that now is the time to fix the Dead Zone.Matt Rota is GRN’s Senior Policy Director.

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