Restoring Life to the Dead Zone: Addressing Gulf Hypoxia, a National Problem

USGS- National Wetlands Research Center

This USGS fact sheet provides an introductory synopsis of some of the causes of poor water quality in the Gulf of Mexico. The dead zone is caused by increased nutrients from the Mississippi River, especially nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers, animal wastes, and domestic sewage. This fact sheet answers general questions such as what, where, and why a dead zone exists as well as approaches to the zone’s remediation. The site also features maps of the watershed and dead zone.

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Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geochemistry, Biology:Ecology:Principles, Biology:Microbiology, Geoscience:Hydrology:Surface Water:Water Quality/Chemistry , Biology:Ecology:Habitats:Water Column, Marine
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Overview/Reference Work
Grade Level: General Public, College Lower (13-14), Middle (6-8), High School (9-12)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Geochemistry, Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Water, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Hydrology/Hydrogeology, Ecology
Extreme Environments: Altered by Humans, Anoxic
Ocean Environments: Coastal and Estuarine, Surface Waters
Topics: Biosphere:Ecology:Habitats:Water Column, Marine, Biosphere:Microbiology, Solid Earth:Geochemistry, Biosphere:Ecology:Food Webs, Hydrosphere/Cryosphere:Surface Water:Water Quality/ChemistryKeywords: nutrient enrichment, eutrophication, hypoxia