USGS Identifies Chicago and Illinois as Top Gulf ‘Dead Zone’ Pollution Sources

For the first time, the U.S. Geological Survey has identified the top 150 polluting watersheds in the Mississippi River Basin that cause the “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. Nitrogen and phosphorus pollution are the main causes of the dead zone, an 8,000 square mile area in the Gulf where low oxygen levels are so low that fish and other marine life suffocate.

Illinois generally and Chicago in particular are identified as the biggest sources of the nitrogen and phosphorus pollution killing the Gulf. Based on the USGS report released today, members of the Mississippi River Water Quality Collaborative urge the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state policy makers to use the pollution problems both within the states and downstream in the Gulf.

Read the full press release on the U.S.G.S. survey.

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