The Dead Zone Commandments

Several news and scientific articles have been published about the Dead Zone in the past few weeks, and they all highlight the importance of reducing nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. Let’s start with a recent two day spread in the Des Moines Star Register. Here is part one, and here is part 2. There are some great interviews with scientists, including MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient, Nancy Rabalais, as well as shrimpers and farmers. It is clear that there is no one thing we can do to significantly reduce the Dead Zone. However, Dr. Rabalais, along with Dr. Fulweiler and Dr. Heiskanen, have published the ten “Eutrophication Commandments,” [abstract] which are broad brush actions that must be taken to address the Dead Zone and other pollution issues caused by nitrogen and phosphorous pollution. My favorite is “Thou shall not pollute thy neighbours’ water.”

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