Gulf’s Dead Zone – Ecological Time Bomb

Matt Rota, Director of Science and Water Policy at the Gulf Restoration Network, believes that states and the federal government aren’t doing enough to reduce the pollution that causes the Dead Zone.
“The solely voluntary mechanisms currently promoted to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorous pollution that cause the Dead Zone will not alone solve the problem,” says Rota. “The EPA must use all of its available tools to reduce Dead Zone-causing pollution, which include setting numeric limits on the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution allowed in the Mississippi Basin, and developing a clean-up plan that includes solid goals and deadlines.”

According to Rota, the few actions coming out of the state and federal agencies will not significantly reduce the Dead Zone-causing pollution flowing down the Mississippi and into the Gulf of Mexico.

“Due to this inaction, Gulf Restoration Network, along with other members of the Mississippi River Collaborative, filed suit against the EPA in March of this year,” says Rota. “We were forced to file suit due to EPA’s denial of a petition we submitted in 2008. Setting numeric nitrogen and phosphorus criteria is a vital step in setting concrete goals and holding polluters accountable for reducing Dead Zone-causing pollution throughout the basin.”

Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium / Louisiana State University Dead Zone prediction release –

University of Michigan prediction release –

Gulf Restoration Network, an environmental advocacy organization founded in 1994 and based in New Orleans, works to unite and empower people to protect and restore the natural resources of the Gulf of Mexico region.

The Mississippi River Collaborative is a partnership of environmental organizations and legal centers from states bordering the Mississippi River as well as regional and national groups working on issues affecting the Mississippi River and its tributaries.