The Dead Zone doesn’t just threaten the fish and fishing communities 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. Nitrogen and phosphorus pollution causes environmental problems throughout the entire Mississippi River Basin such as toxic algae blooms resulting in the death of livestock and pets, fish kills, and damages to drinking water supplies.
“Currently we are seeing the impacts of nitrogen and phosphorous pollution, not only off the Louisiana coast, but throughout the country,” said Matt Rota, Senior Policy Director for the Gulf Restoration Network. “From undrinkable water in Toledo to a 4,000 square mile toxic Red Tide looming off the coast of Florida, it is obvious that current efforts to reduce harmful nitrogen and phosphorous pollution are not adequate.”