Bryan Piazza who skillfully writes for Cool Green Science posted this 17th February 2017
This year’s Dead Zone — named because the nutrients create algae blooms that deplete the water of oxygen, thus killing off marine life — was nearly the size of Connecticut. This annual phenomenon is a detriment to human health, fisheries, economies and our natural resources. Unless action is taken, Dead Zones will not only persist, but they will grow in size and intensity.
But the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers drain 31 US States and 2 Canadian Provinces. With such a huge river basin to work in, we had to get scientific about where we’d work first so we can work smart.
Our first step: a scientific “rapid assessment” to determine a list of places where we could have the greatest conservation impact. We compiled and studied the best available scientific data, reviewing key studies and talking in-depth with leading researchers. We wanted to find out 1) where the nutrient source hotspots are, and 2) where conditions were optimal for the land to remove and hold nutrients runoff.